Capone says HOPE SPRINGS is a solid adult drama, anchored by two strong performances!!!
Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.
If you think you're walking into a comedy about an older husband and wife going in to tune up their stale, repetitive marriage and being forced to talk about sex and inner feelings, you're only about half right. Fortunately, the part you're wrong about is replaced by something quite a bit more dramatic than the marketing for HOPE SPRINGS would lead you to believe.
Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep (two fine actors when they set their minds to it, I think we can all agree) star as Arnold and Kay, married 30 years and in a routine/rut that is painful to watch. She slides him the same breakfast every morning, he reads the newspaper, she announces what will be for dinner that night, he says what time he'll be home, and the two never make eye contact. They sleep in separate beds, naturally, at first because he needed the space to recover from a procedure, but then just because. The film never tries to pin the blame for them getting to this place on one or the other, although because Kay is the one to suggest the therapy, we tend to side with her—though not always.
Both characters are painted as repressed in every sense, especially sexually, but it's clear that any expression of emotion or intimacy is met with confusion, and often rejected. When Kay announces to Arnold that she wants to enjoy her life with him again by going to a week of therapy in Maine under the guidance of Dr. Feld (Steve Carell, playing things as a total profesional), he rejects the idea without a moment's thought, but after she threatens to go without him, he relents and complains about how much money they're spending almost the entire time. She endures it because he's there.
The movie goes from good to nearly great during the therapy session, and there are several lengthy exchanges between the doctor and his couple, who sit at varying distances from each other on the couch, depending on how well their at-home exercises went the day before. But in these sessions, the couple's deepest, most intimate moments come out, and many of them are not pleasant. Turns out they stopped having sex partly because she lost interest (if she ever had any) and partly because he just hopped on, did his business, hopped off. The humiliation Arnold and Kay are experiencing is written all over their faces as they discuss their fantasies, openness to even just touching each other, and their brief but beautiful honeymoon years.
Director David Frankel (MARLEY & ME and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA) has a solid sense of when to turn up the emotional awkwardness and when to let things just be nice between the couple. In one promising sequence, Arnold attempts to surprise Kay with a romantic dinner and a stay at a much nicer hotel than the motel they are staying in to save money. And as quickly as things start to get hot and heavy, they collapse into a horrible mess. Sex (talking about or having) is rarely played for laughs in HOPE SPRINGS, but if you do laugh, it might be because of the sheer embarrassment that the patients have in talking about it.
Among writer Vanessa Taylor credits are "Alias" "Everwood," "Game of Thrones," and HBO's "Tell Me You Love Me," which was one of the most brutally honest characterizations of various relationships I've ever seen on television. HOPE SPRINGS isn't quite to that level, but it's also impossible to dismiss its most emotionally heavy moments. Things wrap up a little too quickly and neatly, and even a film this wise can't avoid the occasional unnecessary music montage, but for the most part, Streep and Jones keep Hope alive with some especially fine work. All of that being said, do everything in your power not to see the movie with your parents if they are around the age of these two characters; that would be humiliating for everyone involved.
-- Steve Prokopy
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Aug. 11, 2012, 3:17 a.m. CST
Definitely enjoyed this one most out of the three movies I saw today.
Aug. 11, 2012, 4:14 a.m. CST
...that film Everybody's Fine with Drew Barrymore and DeNiro. Mis-marketed as a light comedy, it had much more emotional heft. Hope this does too, with such great actors benefiting it.
Aug. 11, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST
why you ask? Well you have an OLD couple in their late 60s or early seventies, marriage stood the test of time. Being in their last few years of life together, the poor guy is comfortable and happy. Made it through all the phases of a relationship, he EARNED his right to take a fucking nap in his chair. BUT NO!!!! the bitch decides she wants a solar flare of romance and feel like shes 18 again. So she drags this poor guy to counseling and forces him to do the dog and pony show all over again to make her happy. You would think after a life of being there for HER she would let the guy enjoy his last years in a peaceful and quiet existence. At that point just for the fact they arent at each others throats and its calm should be enough for her.
Aug. 11, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST
Aug. 11, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST
cmon its aicn.
Aug. 11, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST
by Sal Kane
HOPE SPRINGS SHOOTER ARRAIGNED Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2012 NEW HAVEN - The man known as the Hope Springs Shooter appeared in a Connecticut court for the first time since a rampage five days ago left three dead and six injured. Walter Simmons was captured in the parking lot of the Haven Mall Theater Ten, where he allegedly opened fire on the crowd. Disguised as Tommy Lee Jones, as the actor appeared in the 1977 film, Rolling Thunder, Simmons did not resist arrest. It was at the 8 PM showing of Hope Springs, a comedy starring Jones, Meryl Streep and Steve Carell, where the horror began. Witnesses claim Simmons stood up, pulled out a pump shotgun, and began firing. "He just kept screaming 'Put on your glasses, John' over and over again. It was creepy," says eyewitness Jenny Crudge of Branson. Independent sources have verified that Simmons was wearing reflective sunglasses when apprehended...
Aug. 11, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST
by Anthony Torchia
then see this with your parents. Or if you don't like them But if you have a healthy relationship with those who bore you, keep it that way and see this movie separately Meryl looks too much like my Mom, next!
Aug. 11, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST
by Anthony Torchia
Jesus, I am getting slow in my old age
Aug. 11, 2012, 3:26 p.m. CST
David Frankel's films continue to be mis-marketed, as though the only way to sell them is to convince the public that they are just more dumb pandering shill.
Aug. 11, 2012, 3:31 p.m. CST
It's to the point that when I see a trailer for a Frankel comedy that focuses on pratfalls and quick edits to expect a completely different film. Look at "Marley and Me"; it was written by Scott Frank but they tried to make it look like "Son of Beethoven
Aug. 11, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST
"The Big Year" was one of my favourite films of last year, a completely suprising human comedy that deals with people and their dreams as though they were real and not merely clowns or pawns to do the audience's bidding. And a great cast.
Aug. 11, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST
why you ask? Well you have an OLD couple in their late 60s or early seventies, marriage stood the test of time. Being in their last few years of life together, the poor gal is uncomfortable and unhappy. Made it through all the phases of a relationship, she EARNED her right to a solar flare of romance and to feel like shes 18 again. BUT NO!!!! the bastard decides he wants take a fucking nap in his chair. So he drags his feet when going to counseling and performs a dog and pony show all over again to prevent her from being happy. You would think after a life of being there for HIM he would let the gal enjoy her last years in a joyful and full existence. At that point just for the fact they arent at each others throats and its calm shouldn't be enough for her.
Aug. 11, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST
Not just for people who have worked in fashion but for anyone who has worked for evil, sociopathic people. Having the courage to walk away is huge.
Aug. 12, 2012, 8:48 a.m. CST
your big girl granny panties in a knot.
Aug. 12, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST
ding-ding! Looks like we got our dvd cover blurb!
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