Hope Springs–Movie Review

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4 Stars

Hope Springs (IMDB) is a sensitive and thoughtful comedy-drama about a marriage in trouble.

Kay and Arnold Soames (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones) have been married for 31 years but the magic has gone out of their relationship. In fact, Arnold has totally lost interest in sex. A lot of movies would play something like this for cheap laughs but the expression on Meryl Streep’s face makes it clear that there is nothing funny about it.

Kay reads a book by Dr. Bernie Feld (Steve Carell) a best-selling couples’ therapist. She becomes convinced that what their marriage needs is a week of intensive counseling with Dr. Feld at his office in the quaint little town of Great Hope Springs on the coast of Maine. Arnold is totally opposed to the idea. However when she pays for the trip herself and tells him that she is going with or without him, he is not quite stupid enough to let her go alone.

I should probably emphasize that in spite of the presence of Steve Carell this is not one of those raucous sex comedies that are so popular today. There are some laughs but this is mostly serious. Carell plays his role completely straight and is quite effective. Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are as good as one would expect. The writing is thoughtful and reasonably plausible. A small story but done quite well.

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