- Published on Saturday, 11 August 2012 10:19
- Written by Martin D Goodkin
Right up front it has to be stated that Tommy Lee Jones steals “Hope Springs”, seemingly effortlessly, from Meryl Streep and as anyone knows that is far from easy. Nothing is more surprising than the role Jones plays as the stuck in a rut, do the same thing every day and every way husband for 31 years to wife Streep. Most single people probably picture long married couples being just like this with raising a family, going to work and, when the kids leave home have nothing, including sex. Arnold and Kay are the neighbors next door or the ones you see eating in a restaurant not saying a word to each other.
Kay wants more and takes a chance using her own money to book them for a week of couple’s therapy not sure if Arnold would come but he does which, is no surprise to keep the movie going but, come on, Tommy Lee Jones doing therapy? The therapist, Dr. Feld, played by Steve Carell in a low key effective way, guides the way for the couple and you know what will happen each step except for two surprises, both brought to the screen by Mr. Jones.
The supporting players all do a good job and offer a few familiar faces like Jean Smart, Mimi Rogers and Britt Rice but the reason to see this movie is to sit back and watch Jones and Streep play against and with each other. Probably for the first time in her career when Streep is on screen with her co-star your eyes go to him!
The direction by David Frankel, like the screenplay by Vanessa Taylor, is serviceable but then all the former had to do was step aside and let his actors go. The only jarring production note is the soundtrack which is loaded with too many songs.
“Hope Springs” is a great way to watch two professionals at their best and, surprisingly, one makes the knockout!