Entertainment :: Movies

Hope Springs

by Kevin Taft
Contributor
Tuesday Dec 4, 2012
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Billed as a "coming-of-age" romance, "Hope Springs" is more of an "old people having sex" romp that attempts an in-depth look at a marriage in trouble. While it boasts great performances by Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, the script by Vanessa Taylor ("Game of Thrones") is a bit superficial in what we get to know and see as the long-married couple vies to bring life back into their wedding vows. Steve Carell plays it straight as a compassionate therapist who runs a week long intensive therapy workshop from his office in the fictional town of Hope Springs, Maine (filmed in Stonington, Connecticut.) The setting is quaint and the setup is heartfelt, but getting down and dirty it doesn’t get. We don’t really understand why Jones’ character is the curmudgeon he is, nor why Streep’s character is so submissive. These insights alone would have made their healing that much more realistic and compelling. What we get are cute scenes of the two experiencing each other’s bodies again and Streep contemplating fellatio on a banana. It all goes down very easy and watching the leads work is always a treat. But it floats away with the rest of the boats in the marina of Hope Springs as soon as the waters aren’t so choppy anymore.

Special features are fairly abundant for a movie that will appeal to a crowd not likely to watch them. They include:

  • "An Intimate Look at Making Hope Springs"
  • "An Expert’s Guide to Everlasting Passion" - which has a therapist discuss the character’s issues
  • "The Doctor Is In: Steve Carell on Dr. Feld" - a goofy look at his character and what it’s like working with two greats.
  • "The Passionate Performer" - a celebration of Streep as an actress.
  • Gag Reel
  • Exploring the Scene: Alternate Takes Gallery - includes different versions of scenes and a few deleted scenes including one in which we learn a bit more about Carell’s therapist’s marriage.
  • "Inside the Perfect Marrigage: Meryl Street & Tommy Lee Jones featurette.

    "Hope Springs"
    Blu-ray
    $30.99
    www.sonypictures.com/homevideo

  • Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to ’Star Wars’ and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg. He can be seen in the flesh on the weekly PBS movie review series "Just Seen It."

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