Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Movie Review - Hope Springs

A thirty-one year marriage seems like a lot and frankly tiring to most people and the couple in Hope Springs is no different. The movie focuses on how a couple after 31 years and 2 kids can both be on completely different sides of their marriage and how to possibly fix it. Meryl Streep is Kay, unhappily married feeling like the marriage they have is chugging along with no destination. She feels more like a roommate than a wife. Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) is a penny pinching accountant. He thinks everything is just fine. When Kay comes in his room looking for some action he turns her down because its just so unusual for that to happen. The attempted seduction and rejection is at times both funny and cringe-worthy.

Kay decides they need a marriage jump start. After some time browsing and reading self-help books she books them on an intensive couples retreat to the sleepy town of Hope Springs, Maine. Giving Arnold an ultimatum as well as a gentle nudge from one of Arnold's coworkers who points out maybe if he would have tried harder in his own marriage he wouldn't be living in a condo now, Arnold reluctantly goes. The movie focuses on their session with their therapist Bernie (Steve Carrell) he nails the dry humor therapist that the whole town loves. The sessions where they both talk about what's going right and wrong in their marriage, the body language they display, the exercises later that include a hysterical movie theater oral fantasy that of course does not end well keep you laughing. The comedy is good but the ways they try to reconnect as well as when Arnold finally comes around but when Kay isn't sure she still wants this are played up for laughs but heartbreaking at times. Its like watching your parents struggle with each other. They don't fight or complain but you know they just aren't happy. The casting is really good as its believable that Tommy Lee Jones have been married for decades and is so set in his ways with wanting things like so. Meryl Streep as the naive housewife brings the laughs and they way they play off of each other has you convinced they've known each other forever.

I give this movie a Redbox. The movie is a cute romantic comedy with a topic and style that different from the usual setups. Its good enough and great a great couples movie but do not take your girlfriend to this. Hell don't take your spouse if you've been together less than 10 years, you might find it depressing. Its has a very real feel to it and that can be jarring in some cases so its probably best enjoyed at home together on the sofa.

Hope Springs is rated PG-13 and opens Today.


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