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About the Movie
Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are a devoted couple, but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple’s specialist (Steve Carell) in the small town of Great Hope Springs, she attempts to persuade her skeptical husband, a steadfast man of routine, to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy. Just convincing the stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough – the real challenge for both of them comes as they try to re-ignite the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first place.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 161
- Fresh: 120
- Rotten: 41
- Average Rating: 6.6/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Streep fans, I think you're going to enjoy this one. I know I did.
Rotten: The film, a rehab job on a beached marriage, displays the most tender respect, the most exquisite tact, and yet it would be completely unwatchable -- an outright embarrassment -- with any other actors than Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep.
Fresh: It's tough to come up with new superlatives for Meryl Streep, but the 63-year-old actress delivers her most frankly sexual performance yet in Hope Springs.
Fresh: Unlike the cloying contrivances of 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.
A REFRESHING PORTRAYAL OF LOVE ON THE ROCKS
"Hope Springs" is the kind of movie you rarely ever see at the movies these days: a down-to-earth romantic comedy skewed specifically toward the over-60 crowd. And given my relatively young age, I'm quite surprised that I enjoyed this film as much as I did. Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones star as Kay and Arnold, a devoted couple who love each other deeply. But somewhere along the way, their passion for one another seems to have perished. Upon learning about a relationship therapist (Steve Carrell) in Great Hope Springs whose methods have yielded impressive results, Kay pleads with Arnold to sign up for a weeklong session, despite his curmudgeonly attitude. Little does the couple realize that overcoming decades of sexual repression will prove to be much more of an exhausting challenge than they initially anticipated. As you can tell, the premise leaves nothing to the imagination, and its frank approach on the matter of sex can be somewhat heavy-handed at times. But for the most part, the story is executed in a way that feels charming and natural. Streep and Jones are simply mesmerizing as the film's aging protagonists. Their characters are opposites in nearly every way (Kay is a timid, yet loyal wife desperate to reconnect with her estranged partner, while Arnold is a grumpy old coot who's grown accustomed to the same 9-to-5 routine for the past thirty years), and yet, the heartfelt chemistry they share in the movie feels remarkably genuine in every scene, never once straying from believability. Carrell also turns in a memorable performance as Kay and Arnold's straight-faced therapist. It's actually refreshing to see him portray a serious down-to-earth character for once instead of the usual goofball persona he plays in most of his films. The only real issue with this film I can think of is the screenplay, which at times can feel overly clichéd and emotionally manipulative, but luckily, the fantastic chemistry between Streep and Jones is able to make up for that one small misstep. In the end, I pleasantly enjoyed "Hope Springs". It may not be the most humorous or poignant movie you'll see this year, but it's still well worth watching for its engaging and thoughtful look at relationship reconstruction. Even if you're under the age of this film's target demographic, I suggest giving it a rent at the very least.
Much More Than Old People Acting Cute
I went into the movie thinking it would be a husband and wife in their 60s who say or do cute, teenager things. Boy was I wrong. It's an honest portrayal of an unhappy woman and a tired man who work out the issues that even the youngest of couples go through. The understated Steve Carrell is fantastic and incredibly believable.
I was the youngest person in the theater (with my parents) I didn't laugh as much as the elders, but it was a funny movie!