Director: David Frankel
Talent: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carrell
Release Date: 14 September 2012
Hollywood has a taste for the romantic tribulations of young love; rarely do we see the sexuality of the elderly explored on-screen. David Frankel’s new dramedy is a film that attempts to do just that.
Hope Springs opens a conversation about middle-age sexuality and the ups and downs of an enduring marriage. Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) have been together thirty-odd years when they admit that their romance is exhausted. Suffering from a yearning to be desired, Kay seeks out Dr. Feld (Steve Carell) to undergo intensive couples’ counselling, much to the anguish of her reserved husband.
Her endeavour to take control of her sexuality is at once progressive, but Kay repeatedly lapses into a submissive female role. Ultimately, Hope Springs is undermined by its reliance on stale gender types, which unfortunately includes “the subservient wife”.
Streep and Jones’ subtle blending of humour and tragedy make for a pair of typically masterful performances. However, from a visual perspective, Hope Springs would be more suited to prime-time television, lacking any distinctive cinematic style.