Movie Review: ‘Hope Springs’ Brings New Life to Marriage

katieholland August 19, 2012 0
Movie Review: ‘Hope Springs’ Brings New Life to Marriage
  • Cast
  • Music
  • Pace
  • Setting
  • Old People Sex
Director: David Frankel
Producers: Todd Black, Guymon Casady
Actors: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell
Writer: Vanessa Taylor
Music: Theodore Shapiro
Costumes: Ann Roth

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones aim to reignite the flame of a stale marriage in this heart-wrenching dramedy. Cay (Streep) finds herself  lonely in her marriage and wonders if she’d feel less lonely if she was actually alone. The two find themselves in Maine at an intensive couples therapy center run by Dr. Feld (Steve Carell) who helps the couple realize the strengths in their relationship and how to build on the things they are lacking.

The Good-ish

The Cast

Brilliantly cast, Meryl Streep plays the most truthful maternal figure time and time again. Delivering a stellar performance, she brings the audience into Cay’s world of torment, sleeping in separate bedrooms and going through the same routine day after day. Tommy Lee Jones accurately portrays the aging male who falls into such an everyday habit that his wife’s growing sadness doesn’t even manage a blip on his radar. Although, this wasn’t quite my taste I found the two characters endearing. Displayed in true talent, Streep and Jones have the chemistry of an old married couple. Carell stars opposite the duo, masterfully creating the character of Dr. Feld, a quirky shrink who carries us through the turbulence of their relationship.

The Music

Theodore Shapiro composed the original score and had the advantage of  working with Streep and Carrel before. His resume suggests that he generally sticks to comedies: Old School, Starsky & Hutch, Dodgeball, and many more. We are taken through this unique romance with the air of lightheartedness thanks to the soundtrack. At times I had trouble getting into the dialogue, which is mostly due to my age and the film’s targeted audience, but the music helped guide me in the right direction. This was key for my experience since I was among many women at least twice my age who all laughed much more than I did

The Setting

Connecticut is a beautiful state, and the set designer and location scout certainly used every aspect of that beauty as the backdrop of this dramedy. Taking place in a quaint little town that had enough charm for six movies, we are introduced to the historic Inn, and a few hole-in-the-wall restaurants and cafes. All of this is a nice contrast to where they live, which is somewhat dreary looking. The filming locations were perfect, and Streep and Jones looked great silhouetted in the Connecticut sunset.

The Okay

Pace

The film’s pace was acceptable; not once was I wondering when the story would move forward. Frankel did a good job at keeping things moving, but the motion wasn’t alway necessary. At times Frankel and his crew were more focused on showing the couple’s poor relationship that we spent little time with the couple after of their week long therapy vacation.

The Bad

Old People Sex

This might sound bad, but the idea of people over the age of 50 getting it on doesn’t really tickle any of my fancies. So this part was a bit awkward for me to watch, ideally I would’ve enjoyed less of this particular action. While Meryl Streep is a sexy bitch no matter what age, Tommy Lee is lacking a bit of… what could you call it, sex appeal? These two bumping uglies is as unappealing as it sounds. With a steamy makeout session and some hot and heavy breathing we caught the gist pretty quickly and thankfully nothing too graphic occurred or I might have had a little bit of a problem. Now, it’s not just the fact that they are old, but I really don’t enjoy too much sex being shown in any movie, but their age doesn’t help.

Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I don’t mean to knock it completely, it was a delightful flick for anyone who enjoys a good rom-com. I wasn’t exactly the most enthralled at some of the action and overall this is one I’d suggest for anyone who isn’t still in college, or under the age of 35. With the phenomenal cast it would be hard to make a bad movie, I would have just changed the content a bit.

‘Hope Springs’ Movie Trailer