REEL REVIEWS: ‘Hope Springs’ is complicated


Movie Reviews for Real People

August 28, 2012 – Let me start out by saying that I just love, love, love Meryl Streep. Mama Mia (2008), Julie Julia and It’s Complicated (2009) are on my top movies of all time list! So my expectations were high for Hope Springs (2012), directed by David Frankel (Devil Wears Prada).

Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are going through the motions of their marriage. It’s all routine, same breakfast, go to work, then she cooks dinner while he watches golf on TV. Their 31st anniversary gift to each other was a cable subscription. Sound familiar?

Anyone who has been in a long term relationship can relate to Kay and Arnold. You don’t have to be over 40 to appreciate the convincing performances of Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.

Kay wants to have a real marriage again. Arnold just wants to keep things status quo. She browses the Self Help aisle at the bookstore and finds a book called, “Having the Marriage You Want”. After reading the book, she tells Arnold that she wants things to change. She also tells him that she already spent $4,000 out of her savings account to buy a week of intensive couples therapy. Arnold complains and refuses to go. She hands him his plane ticket and said she will be on the plane the next morning.

Arnold grumbles as he joins her on the trip to Great Hope Springs, Maine. They meet with world-renowned Dr. Bernie Feld, played by Steve Carell (He was the straight man in this role).

Watching Kay and Arnold work sit on opposite sides of the therapist couch and work through their issues was painful. There are some lighter moments (quirky towns folk) and very funny moments (Meryl Streep and a banana), but not enough to relieve the tension of watching this couple having to peel their defenses.

The drama in this movie outweighs the comedy. I want to love, love, love this movie, but maybe the therapy scenes were a little too realistic to be entertaining for me. They had me wondering if the “Hope” in the movie was just the name of the town.

REEL REVIEWS, Movie Reviews for Real People is written by Blue Ribbon News special contributor Martha Caster Lloyd of Sachse. She is an avid movie go-er, artist, writer, and professional pet sitter. 


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