"Hope Springs" and Gray Divorce!

Real Estate Services with Author, Speaker, Consultant, Carra Riley Inc.

"Hope Springs" and Gray Divorce

"Hope Springs" with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones just hit the box office August 8, 2012 and has a huge social message that might be difficult for some to process.  Personally, I had a hard time deciding what to write about this serious phenomena happening today. 

The stoyline includes an AARP couple married for 30 years trying to detrermine if  "You've Lost that Lovin Feeling" so aptly described in the 1964 song by the Righteous Brothers and can it be fixed. That is it..... in one sentence.  The journey in making a decision to go forward or call it quits with a "Gray divorce."  Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Steve Carell have delivered some of the best performances of their careers. Only time will tell how the acting and the story line reflect with the age "phobic" Hollywood clan. 

The character Kay, Meryl Streep played was very hard for me to relate to because she is such a powerhouse of an actress.  Kay, is a weak unassuming woman who let her husband Arnold, Tommy Lee Jones, walk all over her and call every single shot of everything they did. 

After taking a week to process the important message from "Hope Springs" my thoughts of Meryl Streeps character changed to applaud another possible academy award winning preformance. Her acting ability to portray so well this simple, compassionate woman wanting to please others is amazing. Meryl Streep was undeniably believable which made me uncomfortable with how sad it is for women who have a hard time standing up for their own happiness. 

Tommy Lee Jones, NAILED the character, Arnold with is incredible acting performance. You know "that guy"  the demanding, inconsiderate, self absorbed, fifty shades of grumpy kind of guy.  My husband was laughing so hard and loud at his lines and character I had to hit his knee to keep it down.  It really was (ROF) rolling on the floor funny! 

David Frankel director who worked with Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada" has created a film for adults that treats a serious topic with humor, compassion and sincerity which leads the viewer to think!  

Hope Springs is a "Must See" movie for many reasons..... if you work with people or have family going through this in their lives or if you are going through it in your own life.  You will walk away from "Hope Springs" thinking a little different about life and relationships. 

Cosmic connections happen every day and I was delighted to read the post on "Gray Divorces and Real Estate" by Patty Da Silva who helped me connect the dots for my movie review direction and apply the content to real estate today!  Gray Divorce is on the rise so trying to walk in their shoes is a good way to prepare and help anyone going through this experience. 


The trailer from the "Home Spring" website is not even close on touching the emotions that will be pulled up from the inside out as you watch this movie! 

If you are from a "Leave it to Beaver or Father Knows Best" family the messages this movie has may not click in your experience.  Readers from the Gen X or Y group may not relate to the story line at all but if you are a boomer from 1946 to 1964 many of the punch lines will resonate with something that penetrates deep inside!

The Wall Street Journal published an article with statistics showing that the divorce rate in people over 50 has doubled in the past 20 years. "For the new generation of empty-nesters, divorce is increasingly common. Among people ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has doubled over the past two decades, according to new research by sociologists Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin of Bowling Green State University"

From a real estate perspective if you have clients who are baby boomers this movie is a must to see. Realize that many couples are going through this well portrayed dilemma deciding if their relationship is worth saving or it is time to move on.  How a real estate agent handles this situation is going to make or break the way the transaction flows when helping individuals go through "gray divorce."

The story line involves the struggle of "empty-nesters" (in real estate these are couples whose children have left home) and how they relate to one another now that the child rearing chapter of their lives have closed.  Anyone with a family has to go down this "empty-nesters" road and having the right coping skills to handle this from a personal side and from a business perspective is a must. "Niche" help for those in the gray divorce category might be well served with a team that includes a baby boomer who has experienced some of the anxiety created when turning this chapter in life.  Death, divorce and moving are the top three stress factors in life.  Gray divorce, will involve two out of the three factors so selecting the right agent to guide a seller through this temporary situation will be of upmost importance.  

The Washington Post offered many links to resources to help understand the emotions involved in "Gray Divorce." 

Deirdre Bair author of the book "Calling It Quits:  Late-Life Divorce and Starting Over says: "With the children out of the house, boomers in unhappy marriages often look at each other and think, 'I may have another 25 to 35 years to live.  Do I want to spend it with this person?'"  This book gives insight as to how divorce happens later in life. 

As an agent helping someone in a "Gray Divorce" situation or as a seller contemplating divorce, seeing the movie "Hope Springs" might make a difference in your decision to work things out or just move on.  The film makes the viewer dig deep to see where throughts and emotions really are. 

A few questions to ponder:

  • Are you willing to fight for the relationship? 
  • Is the reason you were originally attracted to your spouse still viable? 
  • Can you see those qualities that started your love for one another and can they be rekindled if you open your consciousness to let that happen and modify your current behavior? 

Steve Carell, Dr Feld in the movie asks: "Is that the best that you can do?'

The choice is two-fold.... Hope Springs or Gray Divorce.




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  1. Eileen Burns 08/20/2012 11:58 AM
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Kathy Schowe
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886
California Lifestyle Realty


I am really looking forward to the movie-- and on the topic of "Gray Divorce"... I think people who have reached a certain age know that their time is short and they want those golden days to really be golden.  No more bad days.  K

August 25, 2012 08:39 PM
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome
HomeRome Realty-Author "Real Estate the Rome Way" 410-530-2400

Thanks to your review, Lee and I went to see Hope Springs. We both thank you..excellent movie.


August 25, 2012 10:04 PM
Carra Riley
Author, Speaker, Consultant, Carra Riley Inc.

Kathy ~ I agree... when you get to a certain age you know what you want!  NO MORE BAD DAYS!  Love it!  Can't wait to see what you think.

Margaret~  Delighted that I did not lead you astray... It had some difficult scenes but have processing it I think it will help many! 

August 26, 2012 06:08 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Turning Houses into Homes
Home Point Real Estate

I remember the preview for this movie.  It looked interesting.  I have trouble with divorce and adultry movies too.  Just to painful from my own divorce.  I liked "It's Complicated" the old Bruce Willis movie "The Story of Us" was too simplistic.  

September 20, 2012 08:43 PM
Wayne Johnson
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®

Cara-You review of the movie is amazing. This is not a movie that I would normally want to see, but your description makes me want to see it. Loved your writing style.

October 06, 2012 10:14 AM
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