Words by Naomi Jeffreys
Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep, two of America’s acting royalty lead in director David Frankel’s Hope Springs.
The film’s synopsis, according to IMDB is: ‘After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their relationship.’
What can one really say about this film? It moves along at a steady pace, the characters, Kay and Arnold are stuck in a rut, emotionally and sexually, each stuck in their respective routines, but Kay portrayed by Meryl Streep (Doubt) takes action by going to Steve Carell portraying… well, Steve Carell under the guise of his character, councillor, Dr Feld who tries to fix their relationship.
There are many cringe worthy scenes within this film, particularly for teenagers. But, Streep and Jones are rather sweet, polar opposites. Kay, frustrated, angry but still hopelessly in love, quietly goes mad and tries to fix her husband. Jones, plays an archetypal work a day man, routine obsessed and oblivious to his damaged marriage.
This is a film about Middle America, with floral patterns, awkward moments, and Holiday Inns. Kay and Arnold are middle Americans trying to find hope in their relationship, through the help of Steve Carell, whose laboured delivery becomes a tad annoying after a while.
In short, a tepid film, which explores two middle Americans trying to begin again, to find one another again. Nothing exciting, nothing new. It’s a shame really, if the film had a sense of pace, or something new to say, the two leads, who are the saving grace of this film, and are so good when there is a good script, it could be something quite brilliant.