Hope Springs is a classic example of a movie where great acting can make up for an ordinary script. Screen legends, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, bring a lot of class to a simple yet deep story of a stagnating marriage.
Kay and Arnold have been married for over 31 years and their married life has inevitably set into a pattern. With the kids grown up and away with their own lives, Kay is struggling to find meaning in her life. Her marriage lacks intimacy, and as she finds the loneliness increasingly unbearable, she looks for help in Dr Feld’s ( Steve Carrell’s) intensive couple counseling workshop.
Funny in parts, the movie is mostly a very touching and realistic portrayal of an ordinary marriage and how much work that goes into it to make it work. What I found fascinating about the relationship, was that how differently Kay and Arnold see it. Kay sees a problem and wants to fix it, Arnold denies the problem for the longest time and when he sees it does not understand why it needs fixing at all. This conflict makes their story believable. It was so easy to empathize with both the characters who meant well but kept missing the mark.
I do maintain that the screenplay by Vanessa Clay is not extraordinary and could have been quite trite had it not the subtle touches of the performances by Streep and Jones. I honestly don’t understand the point of Steve Carell’s role. He was perfect in it but I half expected him to crack a joke at the end of every sentence. It was so disconcerting.
On an entirely different note, the movie had some pretty apparent product placement which was a little irritating.