Hope Springs

Hope Springs

3.8 5
Director: David Frankel

Cast: David Frankel, Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell

     
 

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An aging couple strive to conquer their sexual hang-ups and save their 30-year marriage from going stale by visiting a renowned couple's therapist in this comedy from director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley & Me). After three decades of marriage, Kay (See more details below

Overview

An aging couple strive to conquer their sexual hang-ups and save their 30-year marriage from going stale by visiting a renowned couple's therapist in this comedy from director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley & Me). After three decades of marriage, Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) still 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 Carell) in Great Hope Springs whose methods have yielded incredible results, Kay pleads with Arnold to sign up for a weeklong session. Little does the committed couple realize that overcoming years of sexual repression will prove to be quite an exhausting challenge.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Director David Frankel has carved out a niche delivering safe, middlebrow, vaguely poignant films that cater to an undernourished segment of the moviegoing population: people over 50. His second collaboration with Meryl Streep, Hope Springs, is exactly what you expect in both good and bad ways. Streep stars as Kay, a housewife whose marriage to taciturn, grumpy tax specialist Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) has grown stale and passionless after several decades -- they don't even sleep in the same bed anymore. In an attempt to salvage their relationship, Kay books a weeklong intensive-therapy session with Dr. Feld (Steve Carell), an expert counselor who practices in the small New England burg that gives the film its title. Feld gets the twosome to open up, practice intimacy exercises, and share their feelings with each other, but Arnold finds it hard to overcome decades of resentment, disappointment, and inertia. It shouldn't come as a surprise that this debut feature script from Vanessa Taylor plays very much like an episode of the short-lived HBO couples-in-therapy series Tell Me You Love Me: Taylor wrote two of the ten installments in the series' brief history. The only difference is that this story aims directly at AARP members. There's rich territory here for a rueful comedy or a heartbreaking drama, and it's hard to conceive of a better cast for this story. Streep and Jones are spectacular in the therapy sessions -- you can see the truth fight up through their multiple layers of fear and pain. Watch what Streep does with her hands when Kay is fearful of hearing something painful, and savor how Jones slowly sheds Arnold's gruff exterior without abandoning the character's essential nature. Carell offers flawless support as the patient, caring counselor. There aren't many comedic actors who are so comfortable letting other performers have all the big moments -- most would mug for the camera in order to get a little attention. Carell, on the other hand, has no problem letting others take center stage, and that's why he fits so well in this acting ménage à trois: Feld is such an expert at his work that he understands the sessions are not about him at all. Carell makes sure the attention stays on the stars. The actors are so good they overcome the merely functional direction. Frankel repeatedly makes sure we see exactly how close Kay and Arnold are sitting next to each other, and while that establishes the tone at the beginning of each encounter, he uses the shot so often that it becomes a heavy-handed symbol. There's too much nuance in their relationship to reduce it so often to something so simple, yet simple is the perfect adjective to describe Frankel and Taylor's approach to the material. That can have its charms -- this is certainly as straightforward a movie as you're likely to find -- but what marriage is straightforward or simple? Real relationships, even the great ones, are messy. By refusing to delve deeper, the characters come off as two-dimensional symbols whom we can relate to only because we might have experienced the same dissatisfactions, rather than three-dimensional people whose neuroses and struggles make them singular and recognizable. Thanks to the actors, the whole movie goes down smoothly. Streep and Jones are compulsively watchable -- we hang on every little movement and line reading because there's little to admire but their craft. They were up for something much more challenging and memorable than what's onscreen, but Frankel and Taylor, like so many stale marriages, get sucked into a tired routine.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/04/2012
UPC:
0043396408005
Original Release:
2012
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:40:00
Sales rank:
55,175

Special Features

Gag reel; Alternate takes gallery; Inside the perfect movie marriage: Meryl Streep & Tommy Lee Jones featurette; Commentary with director David Frankel; ; Blu-ray exclusives; Four behind-the-scenes featurettes including: ; an expert's guide to everlasting passion and the doctor is in: Steve Carell on Dr. Feld

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Meryl Streep Kay
Tommy Lee Jones Arnold
Steve Carell Actor,Doctor Feld
Ben Rappaport Actor,Brad, their son
Jean Smart Eileen, Kay's friend
Marin Ireland Molly, their daughter
Patch Darragh Mark, their son-in-law
Brett Rice Vince, Arnold's friend
Becky Ann Baker Cora, the waitress
Elisabeth Shue Karen, the bartender
Charles Techman Charlie, the docent
Daniel Flaherty Danny, the bookstore clerk
Damian Young Mike, the innkeeper
Mimi Rogers Carol, the neighbor
Ann Harada Ann, the happy wife
Jack Haley Jack, the happy husband
Susan Misner Dana, Doctor Feld's Wife
Rony Clanton Ronnie, the taxi driver
John Srednicki John, the waiter
Madeline Ruskin Maddie, Brad's girlfriend
Lee Cunningham Lee, the unhappy wife
Lee Cunningham Lee, the unhappy wife
Paul Letersky Paul, the unhappy husband
Rogina Bedell-O'Brien Rogina, the exiting patient
Stephen Lee Davis Steve, the grocery shopper
Mark Graham Conductor

Technical Credits
David Frankel Director
Florian Ballhaus Cinematographer
Brian Bell Co-producer
Todd Black Producer
Jason Blumenthal Executive Producer
J.C. Brotherhood Special Effects Supervisor
Guymon Casady Producer
Robyn Norris Casady Associate Producer
Rick Chefalas Sound Editor
Christine Coggins Associate Producer
Stephen Lee Davis Asst. Director
Lawrence Grey Co-producer
Jeff Harlacker Associate Producer
J. Roy Helland Makeup
Lance Johnson Associate Producer
Nathan Kahane Executive Producer
Kelli Konop Co-producer
Danny Michael Sound Mixer
Julia Michels Musical Direction/Supervision
Jessie Nelson Executive Producer
Ann Roth Costumes/Costume Designer
Theodore Shapiro Score Composer
Margery Simkin Casting
Vanessa Taylor Screenwriter
Steve Tisch Executive Producer
Steven Weisberg Editor
Patricia Woodbridge Art Director
Stuart Wurtzel Production Designer

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