Reviews - Hope Springs (2012)
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Hope Springs (2012)

Country: USA

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Taglines: Sometimes to keep the magic, you need to learn a few tricks.

Director: David Frankel

Writers: Vanessa Taylor

Stars: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Jean Smart, ...

Kay and Arnold are a middle-aged couple whose marriage has declined until they are now sleeping in separate rooms and barely interact in any meaningful loving way. Finally, Kay has had enough and finds a book by Dr. Feld which inspires her to sign them up for the Doctor's intense week long marriage counseling session. Although Arnold sees nothing wrong with their 30 year long marriage, he reluctantly agrees to go on the expensive excursion. What follows is an insightful experience as Dr. Feld manages to help the couple understand how they have emotionally drifted apart and what they can do to reignite their passion. Even with the Doctor's advice, Kay and Arnold find that renewing their marriage's fire is a daunting challenge for them both.

88 | 2012-08-08 | Rex Reed

I think everything about the movie is too subtle and real to appeal to the "Batman" demographic, but for mature audiences who have forgotten how to smile, it takes up where "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' left off.
Read More: New York Observer

83 | 2012-08-08 | Scott Tobias

Taylor and Frankel go too broad when they try for comic relief - and the on-the-nose soundtrack is borderline criminal - but Hope Springs handles marriage and advanced-age sexuality with a refreshing, down-to-earth candor. In today's Hollywood, that counts as radical.
Read More: The A.V. Club

83 | 2012-08-01 | Lisa Schwarzbaum

Hope Springs dares viewers to look closely at the remarkable sight of naked adult intimacy and its discontents.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

80 | 2012-09-10 | Angie Errigo

Very funny, it's also penetrating on the ravages of time on love and marriage and sweetly touching, but with abundantly incongruous randy content to heartily amuse.
Read More: Empire

80 | 2012-08-10 | Andrew O'Hehir

Hope Springs is an oddly ambitious blend of bland humor and startling insight into the realities of married life. It's something like Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes From a Marriage," as translated into the universe of the Lifetime Network.
Read More: Salon.com

80 | 2012-08-08 | Joe Neumaier

If you're not in that demographic, don't dismiss it. You'll miss out on a genuinely sweet, perfectly acted, remarkably brave little movie that should make audiences swoon for something they thought was gone - a smart dramedy for grown-ups.
Read More: New York Daily News

80 | 2012-08-07 | Betsy Sharkey

An unusually intelligent cut at the relationship game.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

80 | 2012-08-06 | Pete Hammond

Deftly veering from comedy to drama, director David Frankel (who also guided Streep to one of her 17 Oscar nominations in "The Devil Wears Prada") never loses sight of the humanity and universality of the situation.
Read More: Boxoffice Magazine

80 | 2012-08-01 | Justin Chang

Hope Springs is an altogether pleasant surprise: a mainstream dramedy that frankly and intelligently addresses the challenges facing a couple after 31 years of marriage.
Read More: Variety

75 | 2012-08-09 | Peter Travers

Hope Springs knows happy endings are provisional. What this exuberant gift of a movie offers Kay and Arnold is a renewed appetite for life. And that never gets old.
Read More: Rolling Stone

75 | 2012-08-08 | James Berardinelli

Tonally, Hope Springs is closer to Alexander Payne than Meyers although Frankel does his best to keep things from turning too dark.
Read More: ReelViews

75 | 2012-08-08 | Rick Groen

Yes, this is the fascinating stuff, a rare (in pop culture) look at the complex nature of the love-sex equation – when it's too direct, when it's too vague, when it breaks down completely.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

75 | 2012-08-08 | Peter Rainer

If the film doesn't really explore the pain and bitterness of this marriage, it's still leagues ahead of most such attempts.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

75 | 2012-08-08 | Lou Lumenick

Hope Springs could have been unbearably schmaltzy or crude. Instead, in the hands of these expert actors and filmmakers, it's a warm and wryly affecting mid-summer treat.
Read More: New York Post

75 | 2012-08-07 | Ann Hornaday

Hope Springs is a minor miracle of a movie. Within a Hollywood tradition accustomed to treating sex as something titillating, taboo, gauzily idealized or downright pornographic, finally someone has made a movie that treats it in the riskiest way possible: as the physical expression of intimacy between two flawed but recognizable adults.
Read More: Washington Post

75 | 2012-08-07 | Mick LaSalle

It's not much of a comedy - even Steve Carell, as the therapist, plays it straight here. But it's very effective as a cautionary tale.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

75 | 2012-08-07 | Michael Phillips

As Kay and Arnold struggle to reconnect, Hope Springs stays close to the task at hand. The characters aren't fabulously dimensional, but the actors are.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

75 | 2012-08-07 | Roger Ebert

The reason to see it is for Jones. This man who can stride fearlessly through roles requiring strong, determined men, this actor who can seem in complete control, finds a character here who seems unlike any other he has played and plays it bravely.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

75 | 2012-08-07 | Steve Persall

As Kay and Arnold lurch toward intimacy, the roles bring out a playful side seldom seen in Streep and practically never in Jones, his signature surliness melting into disarming smiles and tenderness.
Read More: Tampa Bay Times

70 | 2012-08-09 | Joe Morgenstern

The movie perseveres with affecting, sometimes startling candor, and eventually delivers on its promise by confronting the dark fears and furtive hopes of a couple no longer young.
Read More: Wall Street Journal

70 | 2012-08-08 | Mary Pols

I don't want to scare anyone away, but Hope Springs, better than I expected, is a movie for grown ups that seems just the tiniest bit French.
Read More: Time

70 | 2012-08-07 | Bill Goodykoontz

A charming film. Not a great one, but a good one.
Read More: Arizona Republic

70 | 2012-08-01 | Justin Lowe

More comedic drama than midlife romantic comedy, rather literally titled Hope Springs holds few surprises but delivers plenty of warmth.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

67 | 2012-08-07 | Marc Mohan

It takes an almost bracingly explicit attitude toward issues of sexual intimacy, to the degree that just seeing this film might count as therapy for some married couples. The PG-13 rating is justified, and should be taken literally, though I can't imagine too many parents bringing their kids to this one. Talk about an awkward car ride home. 
Read More: Portland Oregonian

67 | 2012-08-07 | Kimberley Jones

In a media landscape that only has eyes for the sex lives of nubile young things, Hope Springs' sincere, considered, and unembarrassed exploration of mature sexuality marks a welcome exception.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

63 | 2012-08-08 | Carrie Rickey

Rather than plunge into the murky marital waters of ambivalence and power struggle, the film bobs on the surface. No one would ever mistake David Frankel's dramedy of sexual healing for Ingmar Bergman's psychologically astute "Scenes From a Marriage."
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

63 | 2012-08-06 | R. Kurt Osenlund

A decidedly adult drama about love and sex, wherein the comedy is largely incidental.
Read More: Slant Magazine

60 | 2012-09-01 | Ellen E. Jones

Fine turns from Streep and Jones bedrock this compassionate, quietly subversive drama.
Read More: Total Film

60 | 2012-08-08 | Lorien Haynes

Had the movie been made with two different lead actors, I surely believe the movie would have been unwatchable.
Read More: Movieline

60 | 2012-08-08 | Mike Scott

Billed as a dramatic comedy, and it lives up to that billing, even if it tends more toward chuckles than guffaws. In other words, one thing it's not is "It's Complicated," Streep's previous -- and often riotous -- relationship dramedy.
Read More: New Orleans Times-Picayune

50 | 2012-08-10 | David Edelstein

Streep and Jones make themselves small: She's chirpy; he's crusty. Incessant pop standards on the soundtrack supply the emotion the director can't. All that's missing are commercials for estrogen cream and erectile-dysfunction meds.
Read More: New York Magazine (Vulture)

50 | 2012-08-09 | Rene Rodriguez

The movie is oddly impersonal - you remember the concept more than the story - and feels like something that was made simply for the opportunity to pair Streep and Jones for the first time.
Read More: Miami Herald

50 | 2012-08-08 | Manohla Dargis

The movie is an awkward cross between a domestic comedy and a marital tragedy that's laced with laughs, soggy with tears and burdened by a booming, blunt soundtrack that amplifies every narrative beat.
Read More: The New York Times

50 | 2012-08-07 | Claudia Puig

It's about as uncomfortable as sitting through an interminable counseling session - involving two people you hardly know and don't much care about.
Read More: USA Today

50 | 2012-08-07 | Mark Feeney

You feel embarrassed for Streep and Jones (Streep especially) because of the situations, often sexual, they're put in. They're definitely not mailing in their performances.
Read More: Boston Globe

50 | 2012-08-07 | Simon Abrams

Jones and Streep give likable enough performances as a humane monster and a human victim. But their characters never become more than that.
Read More: Village Voice

50 | 2012-08-07 | Joe Williams

People over 60 are as sexual and complicated as their grandchildren, and there ought to be more movies about them, but only an audience as constipated as these characters could mistake this lukewarm stream of pablum for a hard nugget of truth.
Read More: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

40 | 2012-09-16 | Peter Bradshaw

As the couple try to rekindle the bedroom flame the note of cutesy comedy kicks in and the movie gets phonier and phonier.
Read More: The Guardian

40 | 2012-08-07 | David Fear

When the sing-song Jones and beatifically smiling Streep are allowed to carry the dramatic weight, you can see the raw, tough-love film that Hope Springs wants to be - until Frankel starts trying to be lighthearted and cute, at which point you see the movie's real troubled marriage in full bloom.
Read More: Time Out New York