Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) have been married for 31 years. For their last anniversary, they got each other cable. In lieu of a kiss goodbye each morning, Arnold mumbles something about what time he'll get home from work that night. Most evenings, Arnold falls asleep in front of the golf channel (gee, thanks, cable) while Kay cleans up from dinner. Then she nudges him awake, and they wordlessly climb the stairs for their separate bedrooms.
Arnold seems fine with this dispassionate rut, but Kay yearns for something more. When she seeks help in a bookstore relationship section, she happens on a title that offers the exact reassurance she needs: You Can Have the Marriage You Want. Kay researches the author, Dr. Feld (Steve Carell), online and learns that he offers intensive week-long couples therapy in his quaint and aptly named east coast town: Great Hope Springs. Desperate, Kay dips into her saving and signs them up.
Arnold is irate. But, ever the tightwad, he's also torn. With $4,000 already shelled out, they might as well get their money's worth. So he begrudgingly shows up, mostly to complain about how annoyingly quaint and overpriced everything is.
Dr. Feld asks Arnold and Kay to recall how they met and when they were most happy together, but mostly zeroes in on their non-existent sex life. He asks about their fantasies, their positions, their best sex ever. The questions embarrass Kay and annoy Arnold. But they slowly start talking and taking the first tentative steps to bridge the gap between their bedrooms—and their hearts.
One of the best things about Kay and Arnold is that they are amazingly normal. He's a paunchy tax guy in khaki pants, and she's a clerk at Coldwater Creek who wears flowy blouses ...1
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