With this film and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” which was released earlier in the year, there may be a new genre formulating in Hollywood. Let’s name it the Viagromedy. With a scant number of predecessors, these films seek to handle, with maturity and respect, the complex subject of sex during the retirement years. And as we have a growing number of aging baby-boomers in the general populace, it makes sense that this could be an ever-expanding genre.
Leads Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play a couple of empty nesters, whose daily routine is a carefully choreographed dance that never falls out of step until Streep’s character comes forward to demand more intimacy and affection from her stodgy husband. She pushes it to the point where they end up in a marriage counselor’s office (Steve Carell, in his unfunniest role). The two are asked to try a number of experiments to grow closer together, up to and including heavy petting in public places.
For all the nervous laughter in our audience, there’s an inescapable feeling that, for those under 40 and for those who have never been in a relationship that’s lasted more than a few years, this movie is the motion-picture equivalent of catching your parents mid-coitus. As thorough, thoughtful, wise and inspiring this film will be for certain viewers, for many others, it’s a bad memory we’ll have to work very hard to forget.
If you go
Director: David Frankel
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones