Cosmic Cow Pie: Connecting the Dots


"Hope Springs" and Gray Divorce!

"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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Cosmic Cow Pie

Carra Riley

Comment balloon 33 commentsCarra Riley & Declan Kenyon • August 17 2012 05:08PM


I have heard it was really a good movie.  I am hoping to see it this weekend!

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) about 8 years ago


It is an emotional roller coaster with a huge message.  I think all real estate agents should see it!  Come back and let us know what you think!  Have a great weekend! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 8 years ago

Meryl Streep is one of those actresses that don't come along often.  Thanks for the review, my mom wants to see this movie, we may go this weekend!

Posted by Ana Hitzel, Professional Home Stager Inland Empire ( AccentPositives Home Staging ) about 8 years ago

What a terrific review and a perfect tie in to real estate. It is definitely on my popcorn list...maybe even this weekend.


Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 8 years ago

Ana ~  The movie hits a lot of spots inside!  Will look forward to seeing what you think... Have fun!  Would love to know what your mother thought too.

Margaret ~  Can't wait to read what you thought.. how this phenomena is touching some of your friends?  I know the friends I have that are going through relationship struggles.. the key is what to do to keep happy despite the issues. 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 8 years ago

I agree Cara ...Academy Award winning presentations with a timely story line. I enjoyed the movie tremendously.

For real estate agents that have never experienced divorce and/or empty nest syndrome this film will be an eye opener.

I am suggesting and reblogging

Posted by Eileen Burns, FL Probate Agent, Hotel & Land Specialist (Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach) about 8 years ago

Eileen ~  Glad to hear you liked the movie and sincerely appreciate the reblog and suggest.  As the time changes we have to be alert and prepared on how to meet the needs of specific generations.  Thank you for he lovely comment. 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 8 years ago

Wow, Carra. I was wondering if this movie would have the depth that it calls for, since the trailer does sort of skirt around these very serious issues.  I'm really glad that I clicked on your post this morning and that you put so much thought into your analsis.  I'll have to add it to my 'must see' list for sure.


Posted by NoCo Home Team, Sell Smart, Buy Wise & Live Well in Nrthn Colorado (C3 Real Estate Solutions) about 8 years ago

I've been looking for a review on this.  Going to go see it this weekend.  

Posted by Jeanne Gregory (RE/MAX Southwest) about 8 years ago

Carra, I have seen this happen with friends who divorced after the kids flew the coupe. My husband and I just took my youngest to college on Saturday and for the first-time in 20 years are now empty-nesters. While we look forward to this next phase in life, I can see where it could be scary for many. Sounds like a good movie to see. Especially, since the majority of my business is with 50+ couples.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 8 years ago

Carra: Thank you. As one of the grays going through this your post struck home. My message is all is not lost. We hope to live and contribute to society for a while longer. Why not make the most of it! Thanks again!

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) about 8 years ago

Carra great tie into real estate.  I haven't seen it yet but it's on my list to see, perhaps over Labor Day Weekend. Meryl is an amazing actor - one of my favorites.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) about 8 years ago

Carra, this is a tough topic cause a 30 year old shoe gets very old and familiar in your life. I saw this trailer of this movie and decided not to go see it cause I thought it was a depressing topic even though it offers HOPE and Tommy Lee and Meryl are marvelous actors going though this rejuvenation stage. I guess I am a head stuck in the sand person in this area but working with clients like this with those statistics you quoted we will see more and more of this "gray" area....

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 8 years ago

Carra:  As I told you in our Facebook message ... I'm not showing your review to Marilyn!  That said, we ARE going to go and see the movie at some point.  Hard to overlook a movie with two of our favorites in it ... Streep and Jones.  Personally I think that movies can deliver a big impact when the message is delivered with humor.  Typically shows the gravity of the situation much more clearly then a movie that's all deep and dark.  At least for me.  Thanks for the insight into this movie and its message.  Always good to hear your side of any story ...


PS:  Congrats on the Feature!!

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 8 years ago

We went to see Hope Springs when it first came out.  My bride had been waiting.. Do I get points for going :)  Anyway I rated it 6 she gave it a 9.  Actually it is a good flick and we got some good chuckles from it as well.  Certainly not looking for anything gray here....

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) about 8 years ago

"We stayed married for the kids" is so typical. Your movie review is a good one Carra and thanks for putting it together for us as well as weaving it in to our profession.  I've sold many a home to divorcing people (matter of fact, my current client is in the process).

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 8 years ago

Carra, after reading this I think I will go see the movie.  When I did my 50 divorce, I seemed to be entereing a period where I wanted to sweep out the things that weren't working for me, and that marriage was one of them.  At the same time, I do have a lot of friends with long marriages who have created something very special and are great examples for all of us. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 8 years ago

I really believe that alot of people after being married for an extended period of time will see the movie as a failure in their own lives.  They don't understand it's fiction.  I have a friend who is lamenting over the loss of the firey action of 30 years ago.  Get a grip and stop day dreaming was my message to her.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) about 8 years ago

You are not the first positive review I have heard about this movie.

Posted by Nan Jester, Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery (Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL ) about 8 years ago

Sounds like one of those movies that really make you think.

It is fun to tease my husband that I am thinking of dumping him after all of these years - he tells people that we have been married for 60 years.  But I would miss the old grump.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) about 8 years ago

My mom and I saw the movie this past weekend and enjoyed it, too. I like Meryl's character because I didn't feel like she was walked all over. She was just very quiet and unassuming until she was pushed too far then she very quietly and gently took control. You are so right that this is such a prevalant social issue now days, with more woman taking control like this when most would have just lived unhappily indefinately in previous years.


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Hi Carra,

A long and very insightful look at this movie.

My wife and I (married 40 years) chose to go to another movie instead. A very deep and penetrating psychological insight into older people and their way of dealing with the world - Expendables II

Thanks for sharing


Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) about 8 years ago

Good morning Carra - the movie sounds great and I love the way you related it to real estate!

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) about 8 years ago

You have definitely  convinced me, I am going to see the movie as soon as I can.  I enjoyed your post!  Thanks,

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) about 8 years ago
I saw it this past weekend. It was very well done. Your review is right on.
Posted by Paula McDonald, Ph.D., Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) about 8 years ago

Leslie~   Thank you so much for your kind words.  I think the movie can help agents and seniors reflect on what is important and how they can change.

Jeanne~  So happy to be here when you needed it!  Come back and tell us what you thought! Thank you.

Tammy ~ Great to know you have that special niche and can relate to how they feel and have been through it.  Hard to have empathy sometimes when the experience has not been there.  thank you for the comment. 

Paul~  Great inspiration.. it's just the next chapter and we have to be happy with it.. no matter what!  Thank yo ufor your comment. 

Anna ~  Nice talking to you this morning!  Been a long time!  Can't wait for your comments to see what you thought.. Thank you for stopping by and sharing! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 8 years ago

Gary~  It is a tough topic... at first I was not going to review the movie and then read Patty De Silva's post so I thought we should start talking about it and even think about helping..... Thank you so much for your comments! 

Gene~ Humor is the key to the lesson here!  Tom was literally rolling on the floor!  I think this would be good for people to decide what it is they are going to do with their lives and home.. do they need tha big house for 3 dinners a year.. or are they better off getting something smaller and doing fun things.. it's all just opening a door to new ideas and ways of communicating with one another.. family, real estate agents, lenders.. all have a part in the real estate transaction so with kindness and respect we can go forward no matter what.  This just made me think about the time a couple gave me $20.00 for marriage counseling.. I think I will do a post on that.. it was a great learning time and we all enjoyed it.  Thank you Gene for your comments.  Yes, please let Marilyn read the review!  I want to know what she thinks. 

John McCormack ~  I think when I first watched it.. the message was hard to process so maybe I was there with you.. then after simmering awhile I came to see the value in the content and how it could help sellers.  Thank you for your comments having seen the movie! 

Carla ~  So great to see you!  Divorce is a hard chapter for everyone.  But embracing it if that is the new chapter and being able to talk about the next chapter helps everyone don't you think.  It is what it is so going forward without resentment might help everyone.  Thank you for sharing your comments!

Patricia ~ Good to read your comments!  They are helpful and not every story is going to have the same ending.. whatever the ending of one relationship there is always the new door to walk through.  So knowing that and embracing it gives "hope" no matter what the chapter content is.  Thank you for sharing. 


Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 8 years ago

Chris and Dick ~  It's true.... the story line will touch everyone in their own experience.  That is what movies do... the key is taking the message and applying it to your own sitation... Either it works out or it doesn't and you are right if it didn't work out then get on with the new chapter!  Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 

Jan~  It was a very funny movie.... and sad at some points.. so it took your emotions through the gamut of highs and lows.  thank you for your comment!

Virginia ~ Funny you say that.. all movies I go to I look for the message.. some just don't have one and are pure entertainment.. this one.. huge messages if the viewer wants to look a them... Your husband sounds like a funny guy!  Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Gretchen~ Good observations on your part!  Thank you so much for sharing!

Phil ~  My husband and I have a weekly date and movies, lunch and errands are on the list.. so we will be seeing Expendables II next week!  will let you know what think... if you get to see this one come back and let us know... thank you for your comments. 

Wayne and Jean ~  Thank you for your comment.  Sincerely appreciated! 

Joy ~  So happy you will be glad you did even, for the real estate education of what some people might be going through.  Love your name and thank you for the comments!

Paula ~  Great to know and I appreciate your comment! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 8 years ago


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

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) about 8 years ago

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


Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 8 years ago

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! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 8 years ago

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.  

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 8 years ago

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.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) almost 8 years ago