Summary:Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are a devoted couple, but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple s specialist (Steve Carell) in the small town of Great Hope Springs, she attempts to persuade her skeptical husband, a steadfast man of routine, to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy. Just convincing the stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough – the real challenge for both of them comes as they shed their bedroom hang-ups and try to re-ignite the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first place.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd August, 2012
Australian DVD Release Date: 21st December, 2012
Country: United States
Director: David Frankel
Screenwriter: Vanessa Taylor
Cast: Becky Ann Baker (Cora), Rogina Bedell-O’Brien (Rogina), Steve Carell (Dr. Feld), Rony Clanton (Ronnie), Lee Cunningham (Lee), Patch Darragh (Mark), Stephen Lee Davis (Steve), Daniel Flaherty (Danny), Jack Haley (Jack), Ann Harada (Ann), Marin Ireland (Molly), Tommy Lee Jones (Arnold), Paul Jude Letersky (Paul), Susan Misner (Dana), Ben Rappaport (Brad), Brett Rice (Vince), Mimi Rogers (Carol), Madeline Ruskin (Maddie), Elisabeth Shue (Karen), Jean Smart (Eileen), John Srednecki (John), Meryl Streep (Kay), Charles Techman (Charlie), Damian Young (Mike)
Runtime: 100 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Hope Springs’ Review:
There is little point two stellar actors turning up and delivering brilliant performances if they are going to be let down by a film that may indeed have heart but lacks any real creativity. That is the sad fact about new romantic comedy (for the older generation), Hope Springs.
Screenwriter Vanessa Taylor (The Amazing Mrs. Novak, TV’S Game Of Thrones) sets a pretty simple story. Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones – Men In Black 3, Captain America: The First Avenger) and Kay (Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady, TV’S Web Therapy) have been married for thirty years and now the kids are out of the house they should be having the time of their lives but they aren’t. There is no passion left in their marriage, they don’t even sleep in the same beds – each day has become a grind that Arnold doesn’t seem to mind but has Kay at wit’s end.
Annoyed with how things are going Kay decides to take action. After reading a book by relationship expert Dr. Feld (Steve Carell – Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Crazy Stupid Love) she decides to pay the $4000 and travel to his relationship centre so she and Arnold can undertake his marriage-saving course. The only trouble is at first Arnold does want to go, and even after Kay has convinced him to take the trip he is sure there is nothing wrong with their marriage and that Dr. Feld is a shark out to make some quick money.
Director David Frankel (The Big Year, Marley & Me) really did nothing to try and save Hope Springs from becoming a tiresome watch. Taylor’s script sets a lot of the film in Dr. Feld’s office and while the dialogue is good it certainly isn’t great enough to make these scenes flow, there is almost a collective sigh from the audience every time the film goes back to the office. The sad fact is that these scenes could have been made more interesting either by Taylor doing a rewrite or Frankel being adventurous enough to change the setting.
The second major fault of the script is not giving Kay and Arnold someone to talk to other than Dr. Feld. Kay mildly opens up to Karen (Elisabeth Shue – TV’S C.S.I. & American Dad) which works well, but then after that scene Karen disappears, never to be seen again. As for Arnold well it’s left up to the audience to try and figure out what is going on inside his head.
Having said that the acting of both Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones is sensational but you do have to feel for poor Steve Carell who is completely wasted in his role. He rarely leaves his chair and despite the fact Carrel has shown in the past that he is brilliant at comedy and can hold his own with drama, here is called upon to do neither.
Hope Springs fails miserably due to the fact that it is such a tedious watch. The acting may be great but the script certainly isn’t.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of Hope Springs: http://www.helium.com/items/2364180-movie-reviews-hope-springs-2012.
Rating: 2/5 Stars