Hope Springs: "I Want A Real Marriage Again"

Director: David Frankel
Writer:    Vanessa Taylor
Starring: Meryl Streep
               Tommy Lee Jones
               Steve Carrel
               Elizabeth Shue
               Jean Smart
               Ben Rappaport
               Mimi Rogers
Rating:   ***

Home Release: 25/02/2013

Hollywood is riddled with your stereotypical rom-coms, you know the ones; boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy/girl does something to jeopardise love, zany best friend makes everyone see sense, the lovers make up and bump uglies through the credits. That's your bog standard outline, so with Hope springs and our two distinguished stars I was hoping for a little more, unfortunately I got more of the same.
Steve Carell
Kay and Arnold Soames (Streep & Jones) are a married couple, and they have been for the past few decades. The spark has gone, they sleep in separate rooms and no longer share intimate moments with each other. Kay feels the effects of this the worst and one day after a rather intense argument she books them on an intense marriage counselling course, a course that will either make them or break them. The counsellor is a calm natured and warm man called Dr. Bernie Feld (Carrel), his only aim is to help save their marriage; he gets them to talk, listen and slowly reintroduce intimacy in their strained marriage, however if Arnold isn't willing to change it could all be a little too late.
The performances given by our two leads are emotive, stunning and filled with a genuine compassion and ease (I didn't expect anything less, it's Streep and Jones), an they really do make this predictable film of lost love slightly easier to watch. As does the terrific Carrel, who plays the Dr with a delicacy and almost innocence that is rarely seen in his performances in past films. The big issue with this film is that it follows the typical route of all rom-coms, maybe I'm a little bit dark, but I would have liked them to separate at the end, see them find happiness elsewhere. For me personally, and considering the current state of marriages all around the globe, that would've been far more real and emotional to watch. That being said, as usual Meryl Streep reduced me to tears, and she truly showed me what makes her such a spell-binding actress. In this case, all I can say is "God bless you Ms Meryl Streep".
Hope Springs - Trailer