After 35 years of marriage, Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) co-exist rather than actually live together. After stumbling on a couple’s therapist, Kay decides that something needs to be done. So she arranges for her and Arnold to travel to Hope Springs and see said therapist, Dr. Feld (Steve Carell). Arnold grudgingly comes along, even though he’d rather leave things as they are. But can a week’s worth of intense therapy really save their marriage?
Hope Springs is a sweet film. Though it is a bit more serious than you might think, it tells its story well and with a whole lot of empathy.
The cast was great in this one. Meryl Streep was wonderful as usual and Tommy Lee Jones was allowed to play more than just surly for once. And he was brilliant at it. He should get the chance to do that more often. Steve Carell was so convincing as the therapist that I actually think that I would have felt very much at ease in a session with him.
Though that is not only his achievement, but also due to Vanessa Taylor’s wonderful script. She knows her characters, she knows their relationships and she handles them very well and realistically – both the problems and the solutions.
Despite the realism, the movie never gets too heavy or serious. While it isn’t exactly a comedy or a roaring laugh fest, there are some excellent moments and laughs in it.
David Frankel manages to create an intimate atmosphere that lets you basically be in the relationship with Kay and Arnold, instead of watching it from the outside. Which makes the ending not only pretty sappy, but also exactly what you want and need.
Summarising: Not the greatest movie in the world, but very nice.