After 31 years together, Kay (Meryl Streep) is having nagging doubts about her marriage to uber-grouch Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) and manages to get him on a plane to visit a marriage councillor (Steve Carell) in (you’ve guessed it) Hope Springs.
On paper the combination of Streep, Lee Jones and Carell (who 3OW finds infinitely watchable) reads like film dynamite. With a mixture of Streep’s award winning career, Lee Jones’ gravitas and Carell’s canon which has seen him cover everything from zany comedy (Anchorman) to understated performances (Little Miss Sunshine), things looked positive for Hope Springs.
Billed as a comedy drama, the film manages to balance the drama (will Kay leave Arnold?) with the lighter comedic fayre, such as Kay attempting felatio on a banana.
But there’s a nagging doubt. It’s that it feels as if everyone’s talent was sorely wasted on a such an average run of the mill – although enjoyable – film. The scenes with all three stars are fun and raise some laughs but I wanted to see more and it felt like Steve Carell wasn’t give much to work with.
Maybe not one for the DVD collection but definitely worth a look. If you’d like to see Meryl Streep in a similar – but stronger – female role then check out the slightly better ‘It’s Complicated’, which has the bonus of also starring Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.