Ever since Tracy Ullmann quipped that being in your early 50s was a wonderful time for most actresses, I’ve been watching for a script. Here it is. The next Meryl Streep movie: what better role for an over 50 actress than that of a politician’s wife? That’s right, one of those sad middle aged overcoiffed women whose husbands have been caught checking out of a hotel room with women half their age, or soliciting men in some public restroom, or writing love letters to someone in Argentina, or paying callgirls in the surburbs of D.C.
How fun to imagine Meryl Streep, a little prim and proper and overweight but well suited, with grown daughters and a chauffeur and 6 months worth of booked charity functions, standing in front of a public telly when the cameras unroll footage of her husband with his perky red headed tart .
Or Meryl Streep hysterical at the supermarket in Connecticut, after the separation, grabbing chocolate chips and coconut flakes, Crisco, corn syrup, sugar and rib roast and fat sweet potatoes and cheese puffs and real Coca Cola, answering the unasked questions of another shopper who is staring at her:
“Yes, that’s right I am…I’m Sylvie Woodruff, Richard Woodruff’s wife, and no, I didn’t know he was sleeping with that girl, and no, I haven’t decided if I’m divorcing him yet, and in case you were wondering we still had what I consider to be a perfectly acceptable sex life, and we loved each other… we have two beautiful girls…I guess what I have to figure out is can I ever forgive him? …”
And Meryl Streep, with a script by Nora Ephron, will pull it off and make Sylvie pretty and cozy and just confused enough to be lovable, and just rich enough to start all over again in a huge house in Connecticut, with no particular financial constraints, washing what needs to be washed, cooking what needs to be cooked, loving what needs to be loved.