Chock-full of Hollywood all-stars, it goes without saying that I had to see “Hope Springs” despite knowing that I was far from the target demo, which was clearly the 55+ and married crowd.
The movie centers around the lives of Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) Soames, a middle-aged couple that finds their 31-year marriage has gone stale. Barely speaking to one another as they mindlessly go through the motions of their day, their daily lives together have become monotonous. In a last ditch effort, led by Kay, to save their relationship, the two seek the help of famed marriage counselor Dr. Bernie Feld (Steve Carell) in Great Hope Springs, ME.
This is where the movie progresses and the previews deceive. What looks like a light-hearted comedy, becomes the slow, realistic dissection of a failing marriage.
Beautifully acted, “Hope Springs” is filled with many excruciatingly awkward and intimate moments between the two leads. Having not been this vulnerable and transparent since “The Bridges of Madison County,” Streep plays Kay with such conviction that you feel her despair and ache with her. And Jones is simply at his acting best.
The verdict:Wholly focused on the loss of intimacy between a longtime couple, this film is about as real it as it gets. If you fall into the targeted demographic, or if you’re struggling in a relationship of your own – this movie’s for you. However, if you’re young and single you may find this film hard to appreciate. Nevertheless, if you go into it knowing what to expect you’ll likely find yourself appreciating its authenticity and taking note of its many valuable lessons.
Opened: August 10
Directed by: David Frankel
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell