Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hope Springs - Movie Review

Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streel and Tommy Lee Jones surprised me for its raw honesty and sensitivity. I am not a Steve Carell fan, but even he played a good role in the movie. It was a different role for him and he pulled it off fairly well.

I was surprised because I had low expectations for this movie--a true to life exploration of how marriages become dysfunctional after three decades together. The couple, played by Meryl Streep (Kay) and Tommy Lee Jones (Arnold), had reached a definite low point in their marriage and something had to change. At the insistence of Kay, Arnold is coerced into an intensive week of couples therapy in a small New England town conducted by Dr. Feld (Steve Carell).

I thought the acting was excellent--especially Tommy Lee Jones portrayal of the husband, Arnold, who is more concerned about his career than his marriage. I admit--I found a lot of similarities, too many really, between my own experience and his portrayal.

Meryl Streep, as Kay, was believable as the catalyst for the couple to reconnect through an intensive week of marriage counseling to rekindle their relationship.

I was pleased at the way the subject matter, sometimes sexual in nature, was handled. Professional and definitely not graphic. But this was not a movie about sex between a couple--but more importantly the reconstruction of an interactive relationship.

This movie will not appeal to a wide audience--not should it. But, for couples married for more than about 15 years, it should be mandatory viewing. To retain vibrancy and intimacy requires constant work, and it is the small things that occur in combination which can cause couples to drift apart--and cause the end of a relationship.

I especially enjoyed reflecting upon the breakfast scenes used in the movie to help document the state of the relationship. One strip of bacon and two eggs, perhaps a boring subject but definitely a bell weather of their relationship.

Recommendation: Married couples need to see this movie. Un-married people will not appreciate it. The movie deals with adult subjects and is not suitable for the under 17 crowd--but they shouldn't be there anyway.

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