Last night I watched Hope Springs on TV. A movie about a couple, whose long-lived marriage is spiced up by a visit to a renowned couple’s therapeut. I suppose, the movie is meant to be a comedy, but am not sure. I chose to watch it, because Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jomes play the lead roles, so I thought, it can’t be that bad.

Which it wasn’t. It was quite entertaining. Rarely Hollywood devotes a movie to real life people of a certain age, it usually celebrates the young, brave and beautiful. But the film was nothing to write home about, either.

What did get my full attention, was the music. Halfway through the film, when it looked as if the two would not brake the million of seemingly iron-cast routines that made their joint life such a cage for two lonelies stuck in a house together and Meryl Streep was already packing to leave Tommy Lee Jones for good, they played “Why” from Annie Lennox. And toward the end, when – surprise, this is Hollywood – they made it to a happy end, they played “Bright side of the road” by Van Morrison.

I do recall the countless nights wept over Annie Lennox’ songs, when my marriage failed (for different reasons, but fail it did). And the glorious times of falling in love, nicely soundtracked by Van Morrison. Because these memories belong to a different time long ago, that to me almost seem to belong to a different person, I don’t listen to this music any more. When I heard it last night, it triggered all the memories attached.

What really made me think, though, is, that these songs are so commonplace to even be used in a Hollywood production, to background experiences so universal to fit a romantic comedy. I checked the movie’s playlist this morning, because I fully expected that they also played something from Joni Mitchell or Alanis Morissette (they didn’t, but there was something from Al Green).

One always thinks of oneself as oh-so-individual, but in the end, we are just like everybody else. Comparable to ants in their hill, we struggle to and fro, all moved by the same emotions and following similar paths. Nothing special, really. And so very unimportant. Ants are at least indispensable for the ecosystem of woods, whereas humans are not even that. This made me sad, surprisingly. Oh well, at least it keeps some musicians in pay….

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