Review: HOPE SPRINGS

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4 (Out of 5 Reels)

I went into this film hoping for an interesting romantic comedy with a few laughs.  Fortunately, on the whole I was not too disappointed.  After thirty years of marriage, Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) and Kay (Meryl Streep) attend an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their seemingly stagnant relationship.

To say that these two actors are great is an understatement.  I truly believe that Meryl Streep is one of the best actors of all time.  She brilliantly portrays Kay, a frustrated wife and mother of two who realizes her thirty year-long marriage is completely unfulfilling.  She and her husband, Arnold, sleep in separate rooms, never have sex and barely talk about anything of substance with each other.  I realized that Vanessa Taylor wrote Kay very well because she never yells at Arnold to get her point across instead conveys her feelings with body language, small amounts refrained crying or she walks away from the situation.  I consider an actor who exudes emotion without yelling and acting like a fool who still gets their point across as spectacular.  What is the saying, whisper to get someone’s attention?  Jones is perfectly cast as the cantankerous penny pinching husband.  I also found Steve Carell’s portrayal of Dr. Feld to be well done because he is convincing and I have never seen him be the straight man in any film.  It was refreshing to see him be serious and straight laced counselor to this couple trying to deal with their issues before their marriage is dissolved. 

What is also great about this film is watching this couple try to get past their awkwardness regarding becoming sexual again.  I haven’t laughed this much at a movie in a long time and the fact that it is smart funny and not stupid funny earns high marks in my book.  Although, this film is worth a look, I don’t see any reason why it should be seen on the big screen so I would wait and rent it when it comes out on DVD.

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