Storyline fails to live up to hopes

MOVIE REVIEW

REVIEWED BY MAREE FIELD
Last updated 09:00 08/09/2012
Hope Springs

Actors Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep play long-time married couple Kay and Arnold in Hope Springs.

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OPINION: Hope Springs. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep; directed by David Frankel

Long-time married couple Kay and Arnold are in a comfortable rut after 31 years. Arnold is perfectly happy to rub along like this, with safe, comfortable routines, but Kay wants more.

After Arnold rebuffs her efforts too many times, Kay signs them up for a marriage retreat week in the town of Great Hope Springs.

There, they meet marriage guidance counsellor extraordinaire, Dr Feld (Steve Carrell).

It's a bit hard to know what to say about Hope Springs. The cast is great - Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep are rightly legends and Steve Carrell is a solid funnyman. However, none of it quite comes together.

Jones comes off as a blustering, shouting bully and somehow Streep has been reduced to a simpering wreck on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Mostly the feeling I was left with after Hope Springs was a vague kind of irritation.

Oddly enough, it was Carrell who impressed me the most in a fairly average movie. He left his usual comedic antics behind and played the role of counsellor completely straight, which was a relief from the relative histrionics of the other characters.

Hope Springs adds up to little more than a missed opportunity.

Shame, really.

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- The Southland Times

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