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Hope Springs (2012)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 8 August 2012 (USA)
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After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their relationship.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kay
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Eileen, Kay's Friend
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Brad, Their Son
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Molly, Their Daughter
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Mark, Their Son-in-Law
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Vince, Arnold's Friend
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Cora, The Waitress
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Karen, The Bartender
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Charlie, The Docent
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Danny, The Bookstore Clerk (as Daniel J. Flaherty)
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Mike, The Innkeeper
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Carol, The Neighbor
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Ann, The Happy Wife
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Storyline

Kay and Arnold are a middle-aged couple whose marriage has declined until they are now sleeping in separate rooms and barely interact in any meaningful loving way. Finally, Kay has had enough and finds a book by Dr. Feld which inspires her to sign them up for the Doctor's intense week long marriage counseling session. Although Arnold sees nothing wrong with their 30 year long marriage, he reluctantly agrees to go on the expensive excursion. What follows is an insightful experience as Dr. Feld manages to help the couple understand how they have emotionally drifted apart and what they can do to reignite their passion. Even with the Doctor's advice, Kay and Arnold find that renewing their marriage's fire is a daunting challenge for them both. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes to keep the magic, you need to learn a few tricks.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

8 August 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Great Hope Springs  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$14,650,121 (USA) (10 August 2012)

Gross:

$63,536,011 (USA) (19 October 2012)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Bridges turned down the Tommy Lee Jones role. See more »

Goofs

When Arnold is getting ready to head to the airport, he puts on a dark tie with small stars. When he sits on the airplane it is a totally different tie. See more »

Quotes

Kay: You always want *it*, not me.
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Crazy Credits

There is a scene during the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bunheads: It's Not a Mint (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Why
Written and Performed by Annie Lennox
Courtesy of SME UK Limited and RCA Records Label
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Streep, Jones and Carrell Break New Ground
19 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a single, 67 year old retiree, who has been married and divorced twice; and this movie really touched me. It acted as a sort of cinematic mirror to prompt me to reflect upon the many daily choices, or even finer gradations of volition, that make up a healthy or dysfunctional marriage or relationship of any kind. The movie was about how we create our own heaven or hell, in the house, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, and in life. We lose our grip on our passionate love affairs almost the way that dust slowly collects on the floor. Didn't I just vacuum that dust yesterday? That is how a marriage can ossify, degrade itself, as if consciousness itself were shot full of some sort of novocaine by sneaky subtle injections over the years, one feeling at a time numbed.

Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carrell are excellent and break new emotional and acting ground for all three master actors.

The movie made me think about my entire life, and it made me reflect upon my parents' marriage, too.

Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal of Arnold, a man who has been an accountant so long he can simply function on automatic with his customers, not really giving his passionate self to his business- or his marriage, ran the gamut from acceptance of various ruts to various kinds of rage, embarrassment, and stubbornness, refusal to drop his pride, or make compromises that would have been in the best interests of himself, his wife and the marriage.

The camera does not editorialize. It shows Arnold falling asleep watching golf instruction on television. The camera directly above the frying pan and close up, depicts Meryl Streep's Kay, sizzling a strip of bacon and one sunny side up egg for Arnold every day, day after day. He eats his breakfast with his back to her as he reads the paper, then gets up, every day, and gives her a peck on the check without even making eye contact, and he's off to work again- like an unemotional little engine that could.

When Sisyphus pushed that boulder up to the top of the hill, his punishment by the gods, he had to watch it roll back down to the bottom of the hill whereupon, he repeated this process - for eternity. But Sisyphus smiled - at least according to Albert Camus, he smiled. It occurred to me that relationships and marriages devolve into accommodations, and that passion, like air being spent out the tiny leaks in a worn tire, can evanesce before either party truly, deeply realizes what they are doing, what they have done. The smiles in this movie are forced, automatic, defensive, painful. Boulders are not openly acknowledged.

In this movie, every scene is slightly underplayed. No line or gesture is over the top. Almost every word of dialogue is realistic. I never felt that I was being lectured or preached to. I did think that the background music was too intrusive several times, however, almost as if someone did not trust Meryl Streep to carry the emotional load of the scene - an error of judgement. This movie needed no such authorial or directorial intrusion - That is my only criticism.

"Hope Springs" is a movie about the ingredients of happiness or lack of same, and the finesse of the actors, the director, the cinematographer and the editors is magnificent. They never stooped to dwell on any sort of cliché dialogue or acting flourishes. It was believable.

I felt that the movie really opened up my life. I wish I had seen it 45 years ago when I married for the first time. It is that good.


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Recent Posts
Any appeal to under-30s? Jael_1
Here's a serious question for the guys in the audience paris1
The character Kay centanni
What was Arnold's hang up? Eyes shut issue newid22
location of meryl + Tommy's characters jonjax71
Does casting Steve Carell in a serious role work? palatkik-1
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