Film review: Hope Springs (2012), directed by David Frankel
Kay (Meryl Streep) and husband Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) have marital problems – at least if you ask Kay. They haven’t had sex for years and the spark seems to be gone. In a bid to repair the relationship, Kay books an intensive couples’ therapy week with Dr Feld (Steve Carell).
To say that Arnold is reluctant to go is an understatement.
The film is about the two of them going through the couples’ therapy, and that’s basically it.
Also featuring Elisabeth Shue as the Bartender and Mimi Rogers as the neighbour with the corgis.
This came on TV billed as a romantic comedy, but it’s not a comedy. Most of it isn’t even remotely funny – but (thank gods) not in the same way, or same reason, films like Date Movie aren’t funny. This isn’t funny because it’s really sad but also so very real.
As a concept, it’s a bit peculiar, because it feels more like being in therapy than watching a film. This is a couple who have been married for decades but who don’t feel like a couple anymore, because they’ve lacked intimacy for many years and have massive communication problems. It could happen to anyone in any relationship.
Streep and Jones give very touching portrayals of the couple, and it’s a very sweet film. Perhaps not particularly uplifting overall, but if you’re in a long-term relationship, should leave you with a feeling of wanting to treasure that relationship so that it will hopefully never reach the state this marriage did at the beginning of the film.
4 out of 5 lobsters.