Hope Springs (2012)

Hope Springs
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Sexual references and mature themes

Director: David Frankel
Actors: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Jean Smart, Marin Ireland, Ben Rappaport, Patch Darragh

After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their relationship.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 100mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Eternal flame
by Richard Haridy,

Don't be fooled by the promotional material; Hope Springs is not a comedy. It's actually something much more interesting: an adult drama dealing with adult issues in a minimalist way. Unlike the cloying contrivances of Something's Gotta Give and It's Complicated, Hope Springs is audacious in its commitment to subtle authenticity, never artificially upping the dramatic stakes but instead staying true to its small yet relatable story. Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play Kay and Arnold, a married couple on the eve of their 31st wedding anniversary. Kay and Arnold seem to live their lives on autopilot, floating through a daily routine entirely disconnected from one another, even sleeping in separate rooms. Kay's dissatisfaction with her husband's lack of intimacy leads her to drag him to a ...

Don't be fooled by the promotional material; Hope Springs is not a comedy. It's actually something much more interesting: an adult drama dealing with adult issues in a minimalist way. Unlike the cloying contrivances of Something's Gotta Give and It's Complicated, Hope Springs is audacious in its commitment to subtle authenticity, never artificially upping the dramatic stakes but instead staying true to its small yet relatable story.

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play Kay and Arnold, a married couple on the eve of their 31st wedding anniversary. Kay and Arnold seem to live their lives on autopilot, floating through a daily routine entirely disconnected from one another, even sleeping in separate rooms. Kay's dissatisfaction with her husband's lack of intimacy leads her to drag him to a coastal resort town and a series of therapy sessions with relationship counsellor Dr. Feld (a remarkably low-key Steve Carrell).

The rest of the picture follows this couple as they try to re-integrate an intimacy into their relationship that was lost many years ago. It's most impressive to see a Hollywood feature deal so candidly with the sexual ups and downs of a couple in their 60s. Both Streep and Jones are magnificent, with Streep in particular giving her best performance in years, infusing Kay with a sweetness that is just charming and avoiding the histrionic caricature that has filled her recent work.

Hope Springs isn't perfect. A defiant contention to keep its story small makes its pleasures occasionally too subtle, and director David Frankel's musical choices are nauseating at best – putting Al Green's Let's Stay Together over their lovemaking attempts and then dropping Lenny Kravitz's It Ain't Over Til It's Over near the conclusion ought to send Frankel directly to movie jail for a year -  but the flaws are minor in what ultimately is an honest story. In our current climate of big, loud, inane mainstream product, Hope Springs is a fascinating anomaly. While exploring the sexual problems of a middle-aged couple, it wilfully refuses to spice itself up with dramatic fireworks. Hope Springs is a breath of fresh air.

3.5/5

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Member Reviews (74)

Margaret
says
We have been married for 54 years so for our age group it was a good movie not top of the list but Meryl is always good.
Posted Saturday, 20 September 2014 See my other reviews
Liz x
says
ditto Kate. Great cast but SUCH a disappointing movie. Don't bother unless you are prepared for a documentary style flick on this topic.
Posted Sunday, 22 June 2014 See my other reviews
Kate
says
Had a few.and I do mean few,good moments. Overall it could have been a lot better. Avoid.
Posted Friday, 20 June 2014 See my other reviews
Vanessa
says
Excellent performances by Meryl, Tommy Lee and Steve. The interaction/dialogue between these three was well thought out and entertaining. Depicted well the feelings of maturing women and their insecurities re. sexuality. Loved this movie.
Posted Monday, 26 May 2014 See my other reviews
thought it was great, I could really relate, to a lot of it. couples get caught up in work etc and forget they have a partner. this movies shows you do need to communicate and show affection all the time not some of the time and always work at your relationship.
Posted Friday, 16 May 2014 See my other reviews
tigerlily
says
Pathetic and boring....Streep acting like a 50's housewife? goodmorning?...goodnight?Sleeping in separate bedrooms, husband cannot display affection.... God! If thats's the golden years.. FORGET IT!!! What were they thinking to lend themselves to such a zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz movie?
Posted Saturday, 3 May 2014 See my other reviews
Lissa
says
No doubt meant to be really meaningful to the older generation (of which I am part) but boring as b..s..t. Dull, dull, dull. What a waste of three good actors.
Posted Tuesday, 15 April 2014 See my other reviews
Mary
says
This movie deserves 7 stars for its content, script and tha acting of the two main stars. Meryl Streep's facial expressions during "therapy" sessions were a sight to behold. I laughed and cried. My husband loved it. We have been married 31 years also and could really appreciate some of the themes in the movie. Would recommend absolutely but it might not appeal to younger people who haven't had to survive a long marriage and come out at the end of it still happy.
Posted Friday, 28 March 2014 See my other reviews
CC
says
This was much better than I was expecting. Tommy Lee Jones is perfect as the curmudgeonly husband, set in his ways and routines. His palpable discomfort at going to counselling generated a few laughs. Meryl Streep is excellent as the lonely, unhappy wife who wants some love and intimacy back in her marriage. Steve Carell, as the counsellor, shows he can act without needing to be funny.
Posted Monday, 24 February 2014 See my other reviews
Gorgeous. Hilarious. Despite the story being about two 50 somethings reconnecting, you don't have to be 50 or over to enjoy it.
Posted Friday, 14 February 2014 See my other reviews
Not suited for the younger viewer
Posted Saturday, 1 February 2014 See my other reviews
soot
says
Not a comedy. touching in many ways. Shows how couples can drift apart but also come back together. Better than I thought it would be. I am not a huge Meryl Streep fan but she did a good job.
Posted Wednesday, 22 January 2014 See my other reviews
gerd
says
Is Meryl Streep ever in a bad movie? If so, this isn't it. Marriage going stale after three decades is hardly a novel premise, but it's done very well in this story. The couple's discomfort in talking about their relationship, intimacy and sex is all too real and amusing to watch. It's no great surprise that a bit of outside prompting does wonders for the relationship, but not without a few trials and tribulations on a rocky road.
Posted Saturday, 18 January 2014 See my other reviews
Sandra
says
No Idea what this movie was like. I NEVER GOT THE DVD?
Posted Friday, 17 January 2014 See my other reviews
Lynnieb
says
A delightful movie that could have been horrible with the wrong cast lol. Meryl her usual awesome self but Tommy Lee was a surprise in this. Very funny and came across so warm. Enjoyed it. My only but..... why Steve Carrell as the analyst. Kept waiting for him to do something funny. And he didn't.
Posted Thursday, 26 December 2013 See my other reviews
Jddd
says
Would be a good film for older watches not for the young ones
Posted Saturday, 21 December 2013 See my other reviews
LuthienNienna
says
Went to places I was not expecting. Meryl and Tommy Lee awesome as usual. As someone in their late 20s I was possibly not the target audience, but very good nonetheless.
Posted Monday, 2 December 2013 See my other reviews
good movie
Posted Wednesday, 20 November 2013 See my other reviews
garrett
says
Too slow for me, I guess I expected more of a comedy
Posted Monday, 18 November 2013 See my other reviews
kathy
says
a great movie with exellent actors
Posted Monday, 18 November 2013 See my other reviews
I hoped it would be better. The only thing that sprung was my tolerance theshold at the 40 minute mark.
Posted Tuesday, 12 November 2013 See my other reviews
Jojo
says
Um, yeah...was expecting a bit more from this, not sure why - possibly because of the lead actors. It was a 'nice' movie - I thought it could have been punchier, bit slow for my liking, I might be in the wrong age bracket to be watching it. It was ok, plodded along with an outcome that most will probably be happy with.
Posted Monday, 28 October 2013 See my other reviews
mal
says
Good actors but a weak script. Very predictable.
Posted Tuesday, 8 October 2013 See my other reviews
Judy
says
Another great movie, we both enjoyed the story
Posted Saturday, 21 September 2013 See my other reviews
Denise
says
Really enjoyed the acting and story in this movie. It was real life and real funny
Posted Thursday, 19 September 2013 See my other reviews
Purplesue
says
Got this one only as a last resort (to fill up the numbers of DVDs required). Boy am I glad I chose it.........brilliant. Not a fan of either Meryl or Tommy Lee, but in this instance I really liked both of them. Good story & for once it wasn't directed at the young ones. This is one middle aged couples can really relate to. A 3.5, not quite a 4
Posted Friday, 30 August 2013 See my other reviews
MA
says
Could relate to many components of this movie, but found the ending very wanting
Posted Saturday, 6 July 2013 See my other reviews
Mary B
says
Terrific movie, two great actors.
Posted Tuesday, 2 July 2013 See my other reviews
dan
says
very funny feelgood movie
Posted Friday, 28 June 2013 See my other reviews
greg
says
Liked it, my daughter thought it bit weird, I thought she liked it too..
Posted Monday, 24 June 2013 See my other reviews
david simon
says
Better than average rom com/feel good movie. Genuinely heart warming & excellent acting from all three main characters.
Posted Tuesday, 18 June 2013 See my other reviews
Prez
says
Brilliant. 2 good actors with a great theme and well presented. Loved it!
Posted Tuesday, 11 June 2013 See my other reviews
Nice movie for a lazy day, had some funny scenes.
Posted Friday, 7 June 2013 See my other reviews
chookey
says
Great movie. Adore Meryl and amazing how she takes on her parts to such an extent that they are totally believable. Great chemistry between her and Tommy Lee. Interesting hearing the honestly and I venture to say it spoke to many people and could have even made their relationships so much the better for taking on board some of the things discussed. I would like to think so.
Posted Friday, 7 June 2013 See my other reviews
Autumn Sadie
says
It is so nice to see a couples therapy session on the big screen that is taken seriously. I loved the discussions in session about intimacy: an issue i think many people in relationships (not just marriages) can relate to. Of course a few cringey metaphors were used- taking digs at therapists, but overall it was actually believable, and more so- positive. Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones have brilliant chemistry showcasing them as the tired married couple, and Steve Carell does a good job at being the therapist. I liked the soundtrack too. 4 stars.
Posted Tuesday, 4 June 2013 See my other reviews
cherry_bobby
says
Amusing; well acted
Posted Friday, 24 May 2013 See my other reviews
Lisa
says
Brilliant, funny, great acting. I am not a big Meryl Streep fan but she was very believable. Just a really great enjoyable movie, highly recommended.
Posted Wednesday, 8 May 2013 See my other reviews
ruski
says
Loved this movie, covers all the awkward bits in any relationship but has laughs too great girls nite in movie
Posted Monday, 6 May 2013 See my other reviews
Margit
says
A good movie yes there old, but thats life.
Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 See my other reviews
Darren
says
A very good movie about the point of marriage and life in your twilight years. Hits home with most couples!
Posted Tuesday, 9 April 2013 See my other reviews
Thought provoking. Shows how important communication is.
Posted Friday, 5 April 2013 See my other reviews
Bev Mott
says
A light fun movie with a good ending
Posted Tuesday, 26 March 2013 See my other reviews
jenetta
says
great film except they are both old and the idea of oldie sex is not great. nice touching emotional moments and some interesting views put across though. she was a bit of a ditz though
Posted Saturday, 2 March 2013 See my other reviews
Lisa
says
This movie is about an older couple trying to find the passion in their marraige again. It was a bit slow but in the end it all worked out for everybody.
Posted Tuesday, 26 February 2013 See my other reviews
Geoff @gol
says
If your a baby boomer you will feel a little uncomfortable sometimes ie "been there done that" but hang in there you might learn something & change !. Streep brilliant as usual ( love the banana scene) Jones rough & tough. Words that come to mind are intimate, awkward, gentle, painful, heartwarming,indifferent, anger, cruel, resentful, encouraging, truth, put them altogether and you have an unusual but quality movie. Recommended
Posted Friday, 22 February 2013 See my other reviews
MLV
says
Beautiful.
Posted Sunday, 17 February 2013 See my other reviews
Olwen Dawson
says
I loved this but my husband was no so keen. They were both very good actors.
Posted Tuesday, 12 February 2013 See my other reviews
Pam Schofield
says
Acting great but movie a bit SLOW
Posted Tuesday, 12 February 2013 See my other reviews
Jen B
says
This is a gentle and heartwarming film. The awkward moments only serve to portray with painful accuracy the personal journey of married couples. Meryl Streep is perfect as the all too agreeable wife who has reached the point of wanting more and steps off the edge of her all too-familiar existence with complete faith. Tommy Lee Jones is the perfect cranky husband who is dragged along kicking and screaming. Through them we see how life can change us without us even realising until we wake up one day and find our lives not to our liking. Steve Carrell steps out of his usual character roles into one of gentle guide, he is the perfect therapist, regardless of Jones vitriol. We watch their natural transformation, relieved at the outcome with our faith in our own ability to change renewed. Of course being able to relate intimately to the situations the film explores helps.
Posted Tuesday, 12 February 2013 See my other reviews
Good acting but a sad movie. Definitely not a comedy too true to life. Felt rather uncomfortable watching it with my husband although he did go out and buy me some chocolate at the end of the movie.
Posted Sunday, 10 February 2013 See my other reviews
sometimes films like this should not be inflicted on couples married more than 40 years; a bit close to the bone here and there. expected a bit more of a lighthearted approach, even a comedy maybe. however, a well made film with extremely good performances from the leads. but not necessarily a film i would recommend.
Posted Friday, 8 February 2013 See my other reviews
Ian
says
Tommy Lee Jones is underrated... Great performance against a legendary actress... Steve Carell was perfectly cast... Loved it
Posted Friday, 1 February 2013 See my other reviews
PoetLaurieate
says
More sad than funny - all the jokes in the trailer are all you're going to get. I wanted more laughter instead of a consultants couch.
Posted Thursday, 31 January 2013 See my other reviews
Rachelle
says
I liked this movie and so did my mother. It is easy to watch and at times a bit teary.
Posted Sunday, 27 January 2013 See my other reviews
Harlowe
says
Quite light and enjoyable. But I found Meryl Streep's character just a little too pathetic. Which in turn made me lack a certain amount of sympathy. I could clout and sympathise with her husband at the same time. Mars and Venus to put it all very simply in a lot of ways. I thought the standout here was without question, the gentle, earnest and perfectly balanced performance by Steve Carell. One of his best yet.
Posted Wednesday, 23 January 2013 See my other reviews
A bit slow in parts but overall I did enjoy the movie. Both Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep play very good roles and good departure for Steve Carrall.
Posted Wednesday, 23 January 2013 See my other reviews
Yawn!!! I'm still waiting for the storyline!!!
Posted Tuesday, 22 January 2013 See my other reviews
motza
says
not bad for a chick flick
Posted Tuesday, 22 January 2013 See my other reviews
karen
says
OK Just average watching, a little slow
Posted Monday, 21 January 2013 See my other reviews
Lee
says
Really nice movie.
Posted Sunday, 20 January 2013 See my other reviews
j
says
Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep are both perfectly cast. A bit short on laughs but looks at some important issues that are often ignored in Hollywood movies.
Posted Thursday, 17 January 2013 See my other reviews
Vic
says
How many couples have you seen or know that exhibit the behaviour of Kay and Arnold in this movie? Long married and in a rut of indifferent and passive aggressive exchanges. Lacking intimacy but prevented from rapprochement by a wall of past refusals and resentment built brick by brick over their long time together. The loss of communication means that intimacy is impossible. I agree with those that find this movie uncomfortable because it is so real. Streep is brilliant as the quiet loving and uncomplaining wife but determined to re-establish the intimacy of their earlier life. Jones does an equally good job in the difficult role of smouldering, uncommunicative and resentful husband, deflecting his anger into never ending and exhausting cynicism. The way out is not easy but the sessions with the therapist played by Carell provide some welcome light relief . The sound track is cutesy at times and the resolution perhaps too predictable but still a very worthwhile look-see.
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2013 See my other reviews
Michelle
says
Two great actors making it real. You just have to forget about MIB.. Not for laughs but a valuable message for couples in their twilight years trying to keep the fire alive.. and the door open!
Posted Sunday, 13 January 2013 See my other reviews
Really enjoyed this movie about love and sex for we older couples...the soundtrack sometimes was a bit jarring, detracting from the scene instead of enhancing it...otherwise a feel good mix of serious and humour...
Posted Friday, 11 January 2013 See my other reviews
LSN
says
Not bad! For older generation...always like Meryl S.
Posted Thursday, 10 January 2013 See my other reviews
Angelika
says
Pretty good, but though it would be a lot funnier.
Posted Saturday, 5 January 2013 See my other reviews
Very enjoyable movie
Posted Tuesday, 1 January 2013 See my other reviews
Kim
says
This is not a rofl comedy but it is very enjoyable. You feel like you want to slap the 2 main characters to get them to stand up for themselves or to wake up to themselves. Also liked Steve Carell as the therapist and his non-emotional delivery of each of their tasks.
Posted Monday, 31 December 2012 See my other reviews
Ann E.
says
This is a very difficult movie to review. . . . . as a married women of 30 years it was a little too close to reality to be comfortable, certainly not a movie that a younger couple (if you were newly married you would give up before you started! ! !) would enjoy and not a romantic comedy as I was expecting. The acting is excellent even though I didn't find the characters very likeable. Over all a very depressing movie to watch but have given it 3 stars as it is well acted and it does eventually have a nice ending? ? ? ? ? A friend told me she felt like reading 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' again after watching this movie! ! ! ! ! LOL
Posted Monday, 31 December 2012 See my other reviews
Phil
says
So well acted and totally agree with Kimbo's review.
Posted Friday, 28 December 2012 See my other reviews
Not really sure who would enjoy this movie. Definitely not if you're young!! Uncomfortable for me watching it with my elderly parents who have endured a similar marriage bereft of intimacy.... It is not a comedy...all the amusing clips are in the trailer. The acting is spot on though and if you're a couple in trouble maybe see this movie to kick start some discussion on your intimacy issues before seeing the therapist !!!!!!
Posted Friday, 28 December 2012 See my other reviews
It was painful to watch at times. Old people and sexual relations does not make for enjoyable watching. Yuk
Posted Thursday, 27 December 2012 See my other reviews
Kim
says
Meryl Streep what were you thinking? This movie has two of my favourite actors in it and is so disappointing. Both characters were so unlikeable that you just wished they would divorce and get it over with!
Posted Wednesday, 26 December 2012 See my other reviews
kimbo
says
The plot seemed simple enough, a marriage in trouble, but when you have Streep and Jones you expect a treat and they did not disappoint at all. The scenes where they are sitting with the therapist you can cut the tension with a knife. You expect Streep to be brilliant and she is, but Jones more than holds his own. It is difficult to play a man who is unable to be vulnerable and he truly excelled.
Posted Friday, 21 December 2012 See my other reviews
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