Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Romance in the age-phobic Hollywood is skewed towards teenagers and twenty-somethings. Love is portrayed as something that only happens to the young, buff and good-looking. Inspired by the 1773 words of an Alexander Pope essay, Hope Springs, a delightful, charming and entertaining film, sets off to challenge these very ideas. With the help of The Devil Wears Prada’s director David Frankel, Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Steve Carell, Hope Springs is one of the most powerful love stories of the year. Quirky, laugh-out-loud funny, dramatic, well-acted and well scripted, it’s a film our parents should see, but we can also enjoy.
If you’ve seen the trailer, you’re probably on the way to guessing what you’re in for. And while your guess might prove to be accurate, there are still many fun surprises in store. Hope Springs is an unexpectedly bold film, considering that it’s venturing into territory that, frankly, Hollywood has never bothered to explore before. It discusses, in long detailed mature conversations, serious issues on sexuality and romance for older couples. At times, it’s an awkward pill to swallow, but the themes in Hope Springs are relevant and powerful, handled with integrity and candor.
Meryl Streep plays an easy-going, mousy housewife, Kay, who has been married to grounchy, stingy Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) for 30 years. Over the years their marriage has become stale and sexless. Arnold barely even touches Kay, who sleeps in a separate bedroom at night. Longing for more and determined to change, Kay signs them up for intensive couple’s counseling with celebrity therapist Dr. Bernard Feld (Steve Carell). His advice, which includes intimate sexual ideas, leads the couple on a bumpy and sometimes painful road to a happier marriage.
Hope Springs is one of the first movies that discusses sex with integrity, presenting it as a beautiful expression of love and romance. It’s wonderfully acted by two of the most gifted actors in the industry. Both Jones and Streep give Oscar worthy performances. It’s a funny, tender, sad and honest film that doesn’t disappoint and, as I mentioned before, every older couple should see.