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Hope Springs
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Reviews & Ratings for
Hope Springs More at IMDbPro »

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98 out of 132 people found the following review useful:

Touching and real (and unexpected)

9/10
Author: Ric-7 from New Orleans LA
10 August 2012

The trailer and marketing campaign for this film is another instance of a collection of sound bites making a film seem like something that it is not. This is NOT a geriatric sex comedy. In fact, I would not even call it a comedy. There are some laughs, several smiles, but most of the time I was in tears. If you go there expecting laughs, you may be disappointed. I went there with such expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised and amazed.

I am about the same age as the couple, and I deal with divorcing couples every day. This film is so real and true-to-life, with no big fight or over-the-top scene, which is appropriate since so many marriages end as a result of a collection of little unintended cruelties becoming unbearable.

I cannot think of any film in which Tommy Lee Jones or Meryl Streep gave a more astonishing performance. Tommy Lee going to a couples therapy session run by Steve Carell? The perfect set-up for lots of laughs, but then we realize the situation is really not funny.

Imagine a film in which Steve Carell has absolutely no gags, routines or funny bits. Yet I can't imagine anyone doing that role better. He was in another film dealing (in part) with a relationship gone bad, "Crazy Stupid Love," which was a comic take (and a marvelous film). Trying to find another film for comparison, the closest that comes to mind is Bergman's "Scenes From A Marriage." But I think this film about the same general subject is much more accessible.

I would have given this film a 10, but the soundtrack of obvious songs to underscore the plot became somewhat distracting. The song most appropriate here (but not used) is "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be." The couple here would be from the same generation as Carly Simon.

I'm going back.

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86 out of 119 people found the following review useful:

A slice of older life - Quietly & beautifully acted

8/10
Author: dragora116 from United States
13 July 2012

A slightly-over-middle-age couple finds themselves in more than a rut, post-post empty nest. What to do?

An overly-simplified plot outline for a lovely, sweet, funny, sad, quiet movie that allows the cast's acting talents to shine. A great script with spot-on character development. None of your over-dramatics here.

We all know about Meryl Streep & Tommy Lee Jones, but even they deliver some newness. But Steve Carell gives us a nuanced performance without the smallest hint of shtick. Notice Elisabeth Shue in a small part that delivers big. As well as Jean Smart & Mimi Rogers.

Don't miss this one.

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75 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

Some plots aren't all about you... c'mon people!

9/10
Author: spelaeologus from SC, USA
10 August 2012

It's always interesting to read people's reviews of movies and instead of getting a review, we get a paragraphs full of narcissism, relentless scrutiny, and disappointment. What reviewers have to understand is that yours is not the only perspective on what makes a good movie, in fact, good.

The problem is, genuine realism is lost on those expecting the standard Hollywood-esque, brushed-canvasses, flawless plot lines, and riveting dialogue. Life is rarely like that and when a movie comes along that depicts some real-life humanity, with all our human idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities, it gets dissected because a few outspoken individuals are expecting reality as its portrayed in Reality TV and not reality as most of us know it, as it really is.

This movie captured the tenuous nature of intimate relationships and all the things we don't say to each other. It is uncomfortable for most of us to be that exposed and vulnerable with another human being, and that is what Hope Springs capitalized on better than many other films of this genre. The communication difficulties Jones and Streep exhibited were masterfully portrayed. The dialogue wasn't always fun and lively, but that's what added to the authenticity of the plot and the main developing theme. If you're looking for mindless entertainment, something easy to digest, there's plenty out there. If you're up for a healthy dose of reality and a powerful, vital message, then give Hope Springs a viewing. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Happy film hunting!

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83 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

Finally A Film That Resonates With Real People

9/10
Author: patsworld from United States
9 August 2012

There is no feeling of being lonesome so crushing as being in a room with someone, in a relationship with somebody, when the feeling is gone. This couple, married thirty one years, have discovered this, as some of us have at different times in our lives.

Tommy Lee Jones is the husband, marred down in his married life that has dimmed into something he feels will never be bright again. Never expects it to be. Is perfectly willing to plod along through life as is with his anger and dismay at how things have turned out hidden and suppressed. Meryl Streep is his wife, loving and longing to be loved, feeling that marriage should not be this way, no longer feeling attractive or appreciated. Willing to come out of her shell to try for change. Elizabeth Shue, who we don't see nearly enough of lately, was excellent. I have never liked Steve Carell so much in a role as I did in his part as the marriage counselor, trying to inflate this flattened union.

Many, many couples, married for decades will feel parts, if not all of this movie, in a personal way. I go to a lot of films and the number of people in the theater for the showing of this movie was more than I've seen gathered for an afternoon in the theater in years. I mean years. That's how infrequently we have a decent movie with fabulous actors come out, with no filthy language, no gratuitous sex….nothing to detract from a solid screenplay, a story well told and well acted. This one was exasperating, touching, amusing in spots, made you smile, caused you to shake your head…..it has it all. At the end of this film, everyone…and I mean everyone…was smiling, happy that they had come to see this one. Wow. That doesn't happen often.

Perhaps the young people won't see or appreciate the truth of this film so much, but let me tell you, the young are not the only folks buying tickets to movies. And every person with a few years under his or her belt, married to the same spouse for decades, will understand it and love it!

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50 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Streep, Jones and Carrell Break New Ground

9/10
Author: stephenrtod from United States
19 August 2012

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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47 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Melancholic Comedy About Intimacy

7/10
Author: M. J Arocena from New Zealand
11 August 2012

Meryl Streep is a wonder, let's start right there. After her towering portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, an ordinary woman in real danger of disappearing all together. Real and enormously moving. Tommy Lee Jones gives us a face we hadn't seen before. Someone so settled in his ways that he doesn't notice what's happening around him. That's why, I though, his realization is so poignant. The film is based on a solid script but the direction is sluggish and uncertain to say the least. It feels as if the director didn't trust his material. The songs and the score, out of a Lifetime TV movie, doesn't allow us to connect with the real truths unfolding in the screen. That, I must confess, was very annoying. I recommend the film on the strength of the two central performances. Intimacy between two grown ups reflected on every look on every move until the score comes to interfere and derail our emotions.

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46 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

Hope Springs delivers just as much emotion as laughs

8/10
Author: rgblakey from United States
7 August 2012

There are movies that come along that fall in numerous genres. The latest Hope Springs seems to be pushing the comedy but sports a story that could easily be delivering the drama so going in is already somewhat of a mystery on what to really expect. With a stellar cast of Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, and Steve Carell is there any way this film couldn't work on some level?

Hope Springs follows a married couple who have grown apart. They head out to Hope Springs to attempt to rekindle their lost spark, but with a skeptical husband reluctant to take on the treatment is there any chance of saving this marriage? This is one of those movies that actually hit the mark successfully being both a comedy and a drama. When it's funny it hit a lot of really funny, sometimes uncomfortable funny moments. These are not a bad thing, but more uncomfortable for the characters in the situation thus causing a bit for the audience. What makes this film go from something pretty average to deliver something a bit more is the cast. Jones and Streep have both great chemistry throughout the film and feel like a real couple during the problem times as well as the emotional affection ones. This is their movie to shine and the emotional roller coaster they both deliver really makes this film work. They bounce around from typical married couple to acting like teenagers in love like only someone with their talent could do. Carell does a great job playing the straight laced doctor, but really only serves as a buffer to help this story of these too move along. This does showcase another chance to show he is more than just a funny man, but just doesn't bring a whole lot to the film, but what he does works well. The story isn't anything all that new, but will easily affect any age couple in a relationship that have experienced something like this from the emotional moments to the comedic ones.

This is a memorable cute heartfelt movie that is usually saved for the younger cast, but gives it this new twist using the older couple. Jones and Streep show that they still have it in both the acting chops and the love story delivering some unexpected sexual humor that elevated this movie just out of average and into a fun worthwhile cute film.

http://www.examiner.com/movie-in-dallas/bobby-blakey

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29 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Great acting, excellent dialog

9/10
Author: badawi_33 from Montreal
18 August 2012

The plot seemed simple enough, a marriage in trouble, but when you have Streep and Jones you expect a treat and the did not disappoint at all. The scenes where they are sitting with the the therapist you can cut the tension with a knife. You expect Streep to be brilliant and she is, but Jones more than hold his own. It is difficult to play a man who is unable to be vulnerable and he truly excelled.

Of course as with every cinematic experience depends on your state of mind and your demographic. The couple sitting in front of me were elderly and mid way through the movie the lady leaned over and put her head on her partner's shoulder and stayed like that through the rest of the movie. This movie does that to you, it makes you appreciate your partner more, you can almost thank them for putting up with our own shortcomings.

This is a real movie for real people ... Enjoy!

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31 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Creepy to watch.........

1/10
Author: katb57 from United States
12 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow...what a disappointment. I love Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones but this was just creepy to watch. The characters had absolutely no chemistry and the "sex" scenes were very uncomfortable to watch. No ones needs to see TLJ with his legs spread apart with MS stroking him. NO ONE needs to see MS feeling herself up. The other sex scenes were just disgusting. In the movie theater trying to do oral sex, and on the floor in the hotel room with TLJ looming, scowling face...just one big EEEEEEEEWWWWW. I am the same age as they are and I would not want anyone watching me....LOL What a waste of talent. The same message could have been conveyed in a much more tasteful way. I thought the pairing of these two fabulous actors could have been so much more successful with less actual sex and more innuendo. More tenderness and caring....less awkwardness. Do not recommend this movie.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Date movie followed by early bird dinner?

6/10
Author: Quietb-1 from United States
10 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones show why they are the best actors of this generation. Their performances will be remembered this award season.

Here Streep forces Jones to examine the boredom of their sexless marriage. So what if they seem a bit old to be married only thirty years. Steve Carell gets the mostly stoic role of their therapist.

It's the kind of soft script, if it didn't get Streep it most likely would not have been made. Maine locations don't quite open it enough and it feels like a play. A good play.

You care about the characters, even if, at times it is difficult to forget you are watching Meryl Streep. It has a few laughs but it's actually on the serious side.

In a summer loaded with explosions car chases and various shot'em-ups, it is a pleasant change of pace. See it.

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