Movie Review: HOPE SPRINGS

  HOPE SPRINGS is an amazingly honest and entertaining  comedy-drama about an older married couple whose relationship has gone completely stale.    
Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are completely believable as a husband and wife who are stuck in a boring routine and unable to really talk to each other anymore.

Their adult son: "So what did you guys get each other for your anniversary?"
Adult daughter: "Yeah, 31; what gift is that? silver? ivory?"
Kay (Streep: "Oh, we got each other the new cable subscription."
Daughter: "Oh, great."
Kay: "It's a lot of channels."

The incomparable Meryl Streep plays Kay, a sad, lonely woman who is so desperate to revive her marriage
that she forces her husband to go for a week of intensive couples counseling in Maine.     

Kay: "The flight leaves tomorrow. I'm gonna be on it."
Arnold (Jones, as he stumbles onto the plane): "I hope you're happy."

Steve Carell plays it completely straight as their counselor, Dr. Feld.

Dr. Feld: "You two have come here to try to restore intimacy to your marriage."
Arnold: "This is insane. We're not 22 years old anymore."
Dr. Feld: "I'd like to assign you your first exercise. Tonight I'd like you to spend a period of time with your arms around one another."
Arnold: "I think we better stop."

You can see what Kay is up against. Arnold is angry and cut off from his other emotions. You almost wonder why she stays with him at all.

Arnold: "You come up here. You spend one week, and you're supposed to have a new marriage."
Dr. feld: "Arnold, your wife is very unhappy, and you have to ask yourself, have I done all I could?"

Arnold does open up enough for them to make a little progress but can he take the next step?

Arnold: Ok. Next step? What is it? Write a poem? Hold hands in public? Sing a serenade?
Dr. Feld: "It's sex."
Arnold: "We should just get our things and go."

Streep and Jones make you feel the anger, fear, and pain their characters are going through. Their story a kind of wake up call for couples of any age who've lapsed into boring routines.

Dr. Feld: "It's not too late for anyone who wants it and is willing to try."