Hope Springs (12A)

Film

Comedy

Hope Springs.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Sep 11 2012

In ‘Mamma Mia!’ Meryl Streep played Donna, a free spirit who’d cut loose and hit the hippy trail in the 1960s. Her character in ‘Hope Springs’, Kay, could be the sister she left behind – the good girl who married a meat-and-potatoes man, Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones), and raised a family. Now, after 31 years, Arnold barely looks at her. In desperation, she books them on a week-long sex ’n’ marriage counselling holiday with Dr Feld (Steve Carell, playing it straight). Needless to say, Arnold has a face like thunder at the news.

Director David Frankel’s previous films include ‘Marley & Me’ and ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. This has the same likeable-but-none-too-deep feel. And there are some yuckily candid scenes (one involving Streep, a banana and a suggestion from the book ‘Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man’ –  work it out). But the acting is bang-on, so to speak. It’s what rescues ‘Hope Springs’ from being another sticky relationship comedy-with-an-earnest-edge. Tommy Lee Jones is wonderful as grumpy Arnold – eyes squeezed tight like he wants to keep the world out. ‘What about maturbation?’ asks Dr Feld. Jones flashes him a look like he’s going to rip off his head off.

And Streep is on a roll with these life-affirming roles (after ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘It’s Complicated’). There’s a case to be made that she’s playing fast and loose with her finest-actress-of-her-generation reputation. I disagree. Kay is a character who could easily be patronised. Gentle to the point of mousy, when a therapy session turns to sex, she buttons up her cardigan. But Streep is warm, and she’s got the timing of a stand-up. Her performance demands you bat for her woman. 

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Sep 14, 2012

Duration:

100 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

David Frankel

Screenwriter:

Vanessa Taylor

Cast:

Steve Carell, Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

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K MORRIS

WHEN YOU GET MERYL STREEP AND TL JONES, YOU WOULD EXPEXT GREAT THNGS?....SADLY NO...PROBABLY THE MOST BORING FILM OF THE YEAR... THE DIRECTOR HAS A CHANCE OF GETTING SOME GREAT GAGS/FUNNY SCENES/INCREDIBLE ACTING..BUT FAILED MISERABLY... MY ADVICE..DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY...!!

john o sullivan

Kudos for Meryl for getting tis project made maybe it sugar coated a very serious message but as they a spoon full of sugar....watched this with an elderly audience and they enjoyed it greatly

Frances

Hello....haven't any intelligent, sentient, sexual, sensual,life-experienced mature adults seen this film, and wish to comment....? The 2 already here just didn't get the point at all.......it's about therapy......and trying to hold together a stagnant relationship......very real, very true........REAL LIFE, baby. Mark Kermode liked it. I'm told that Barry Norman (& Jonathan Ross), and that smart, sassy, intelligent female film critic (name escapes me, sorry, but I admire her views)....on BBC1, also like it......so, how come the reviews here are so un-perceptive & boring? Obviously not old, sympathetic enough to realise that this is a form of "cinema verite".......slow-ish, yes; but a fascinating piece of characterisation by both Streep & T.L.Jones. It may not be YOUR life, if you're under 30 - but, watch out! it can get like this........and, these two people are trying to SAVE a marriage....not just walk away into another's bed & wreck lives....Gosh! amazing! This film has an amazing message, wonderfully acted.....pity it's wasted.......

scrumpyjack

Enjoyable enough, though a little too close to THE IRON LADY to be comfortable watching Maggie....errr, sorry, Meryl pleasure herself! Another observation, isn't this a bit much for a 12a? One scene that (errrr) stands out is the attempted blow job in the cinema. Now I realise the BBFC are hedging their bets that this won't appeal to kids but it gives the signal to studio's that similar scenes will be allowed in something they do want to see....all a bit wrong. 6/10

Ian

Just been to see this film. I am not sure it is a comedy and it isn't really a drama either. It really doesn't start to get going at all and seems to meander for an hour and a half when suddenly for no apparent purpose and with no hint you get the epithany and the film finsihes happily ever after. I am not sure if everyone got bored and thought we must wrap this up or whether there was another 20 minutes of film that got cut out lock stock and barrel. I imagine it was possibly the latter as the film is about as long as its target audience could go without a loo break and this way you get another showing in per day. I felt the three main actors deserve more. Two stars for me.