Summary: While the comedic moments are a weight on the finished product, and while “Hope Springs” strives for an emotional depth it can’t always maintain, it gets points for treating older characters and their sexual and emotional needs with some measure of respect.
Excerpt: Having just celebrated her 31st anniversary to husband Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones), Nebraska housewife Kay Soames (Meryl Streep) is unhappy with her life because they sleep in separate beds and never have the romance or intimacy of their early days of marriage. When she sees Dr. Bernard Feld (Steve Carell) on TV, she buys them tickets to spend a week in Great Hope Springs, Maine for "intensive couples counseling," something her crotchety husband doesn't want anything to do...
Excerpt: Help me out here. I know the traditional gift for a couple’s 25th wedding anniversary is silver and that gold is supposed to mark 50 years. But what do you get a spouse to commemorate your considerably less ceremonial 31-year wedding anniversary? I’m not sure what the answer is, but I don’t think one week of intensive marriage counseling is the conventional way to go.
Conclusion: 'Hope Springs' fills a vital niche by frankly exploring a mature relationship and the challenges older couples face if they wish to sustain a healthy, fulfilling union, but director David Frankel's comedy may hit too close to home for some, who may find it more like a therapy session than a romantic romp. Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are excellent as the aging wife and husband, and their work elevates the material to a much more meaningful level.
Excerpt: The last time Meryl Streep starred in a middle-aged sex comedy, the result was It's Complicated , so you can forgive me for walking in to Hope Springs with something less than fevered anticipation. And let's not oversell--this is a film with real problems, from its tenuous grasp of tone to the many, many questionable music choices. But it's not a bad film.
Excerpt: Admit it-- you never, ever thought you'd see Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep in a bedroom scene together. That's not just because of Hollywood's well-documented aversion to love scenes between anyone under the age of 30, though that's part of it too. But while Streep has spent her 50s and early 60s as a vivacious and legitimately sexy screen presence in the likes of It's Complicated and Julie & Julia , Jones has stepped behind his jowly scowl to grump his way through...
Excerpt: There are times—many times, in fact—when Hope Springs bears an uncanny resemblance to a movie made about adults, for adults. Not fake adults like the middle-aged ninnies in Nancy Meyers’ Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated , which have become the sad standard for over-40 Hollywood relationship dramas, but ones who are working through real, identifiable problems in an honest and sometimes wrenching way.