In this film supposedly aimed at me (white, female, older, hates-car-crashes-loves-relationships) Streep’s character, Kay, is married to Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) for what seems to be way too long by the time the film begins. He doesn’t appreciate her, sleeps in a separate bedroom, and you know that at his very base is never going to change. Despite seeing the ever reassuring Steve Carrell’s marriage therapist, well – you see it and tell me what you think of the ending of this film and whether or not it gives you hope for Kay’s future.
At any rate – I promised to tell you why I screamed at Streep because of working with lawyers.
Every day of the week with a “y” in it, I meet couples who are together but who have had their physical and emotional relationships severely impacted by injury. In my head right now I can see a man who is married to a woman in chronic pain. He tells me every time he touches her he is afraid he is hurting her – and so he has stopped. Into my head and heart comes a woman whose husband is severely brain damaged. She is now more like his mother than his wife – which makes her feel like having sex with him is just plain creepy. Not everyone who is paralyzed from the waist down feels sexy. I’ve met victims of sexual harassment who just can’t connect emotionally with their spouses – even though their therapists are easily as charming and well intentioned as the one in this film.
You see, Kay can leave Arnold. The people lawyers introduce me to can’t.
TIP: What will never be made right for your client?