MOVIE REVIEW: Hope Springs

While The Daughter’s away with the grandparents, apparently making videos with her twin cousins, her parents get to go out to The Spectrum Theatre to see Hope Springs.

I totally agree with the reviewer at IMDB who decried “the trailer and marketing campaign…[as] a collection of sound bites making a film seem like something that it is not. This is NOT a geriatric sex comedy. In fact, I would not even call it a comedy.” Though it is about, among other things, sex (or lack of same) between Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones), and it is occasionally quite funny. Their lives after 31 years of marriage apparently is fine with him, but she is wanting more. Kay goads Arnold to travel 1500 miles to see a therapist, Dr. Feld (Steve Carrell), and it is often tough sledding.

Although there are other characters, such as Kay’s friend (Jean Smart), the innkeeper (Damian Young) and a sympathetic bartender (Elisabeth Shue), the movie depends largely on the acting of Streep and Jones, who are excellent, and of Carrell, who is surprisingly solid.

A number of critics compared the movie to an Ingmar Bergman film, usually Scenes from a Marriage, which I think is unfair. I don’t think it sought to be that ambitious, just be a tale of one particular stuck couple.

If there’s something I didn’t like about the film, it was the too familiar music. Why did they use Annie Lennox’s “Why” again? I know I have at least a couple soundtracks at home with that song on there.

Conversely, a great use of the end credits, making it virtually impossible for the audience to leave.

Still, I thought it was a solid three-out-of-four-stars film.

0 thoughts on “MOVIE REVIEW: Hope Springs”

  1. Lex and I saw this and we got the whole audience applauding. Not a perfect film, but A FILM FOR GROWNUPS. Not an “adult film” (wink) but one any mature couple could get. Laughs, tears for both of us. Carrell was a delightful surprise; he needs to stay in supporting roles. Streep is always wonderful, but you know what? I’ve never seen Tommy Lee Jones in this light, as a tired old duffer who ends up showing a depth of vulnerability I didn’t think we’d ever see from him. Thanks for highlighting this movie, Roger. Peace, Amy


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