★ ★ 1/2
Starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell and Jean Smart. Written by Vanessa Taylor. Directed by David Frankel. Produced by Brian Bell, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Guymon Casady, Chris Coggins, Lance Johnson, Nathan Kahane, Kelli Konop, Jessie Nelson and Steve Tisch.
Don't let this movie fool you- it's not another mildly funny romantic comedy for the older folks, it's a sexually risque comedy that pushes the envelope...even for young people. So concerned with proving it's not "dorky", it doesn't realize that it's gone too far the other way, bordering on being absurd and oddly enough, juvenile. While the story is about mending the marriage of Kay (Streep) and Arnold (Jones), nothing about their relationship is actually laid out for us, just their current sex life. And while, yes, it is funny to watch two older people fumble around with being intimate, it's also exaggerated to the point of being unrealstic and leaves us wondering why they're acting like it's their very first time when they've been married 31 years. In one scene, they make putting their arms around each other into a big awkward ordeal.
The film does have some high points, however. It's always enjoyable watching Jones step out of his comfort zone, especially when he's being made to do things that humiliate him and is paired with someone as manic and animated as Streep. He's his usual old-fashioned, crochety self who's bombarded with a touchy-feely atmosphere when his wife takes him to see an acclaimed couple's therapist (Carell) in Maine. The therapy sessions provide for plenty of laughs, but strangely none from Carrel, in an unexpectedly serious role for him. Because issues of intimacy are the root of their problems, they're given different steps to take in order to fix it, each one more over the top than the next. Take, for instance, a scene in which they attempt oral sex in a movie theatre for the first time- it's funny, terrifying and incredibly implausible.
In between a lot of chaotic scenes, there are some sweet moments where their story actually resonates with the audience and evokes some emotion, which is a shame because it could have been a charming movie. Instead, it can't find an audience – it's too racy for an older crowd who will no doubt find it distasteful and isn't relevant or hip enough for a younger one.