The Edge were lucky enough to be part of a select group of individuals across the country to attend a viewing of Hope Springs a month before its release in the UK and all we can say is this is one for the masses with 3 big names in film coming together to portray the story of a couple falling out of love and their somewhat comedic journey to regaining marriage.
It’s important to point out that the ODEON in Southampton provide an absolute dire service. To begin with we were without picture on the screen for the first ten minutes of the film and it felt like the projection team had no clue that we could hear voices and see no picture. After they had finally got their act together and fixed the picture, their shoddy project cut off the top of the screen. Although not affecting the film majorly it is shocking that the leading cinema chain in the UK cannot properly show a film in their cinemas.
Negatives aside the film is advertised as a comedy adventure of a, let’s say, older couple at an Intensive Couples Counselling resort in Maine. Meryl Streep (Kay) and Tommy Lee Jones (Arnold) play the disfunctional couple and are a pleasure to watch. There is a distinct chemistry between them that I haven’t seen in cinema for a long time and it seems like a perfect pairing. Streep plays the role of a flirty eager to please wife longing for the attention of Jones’ moody, career obsessed typical old man of a husband who would much rather be watching golf on television than spending time with his wife of 31 years.
Steve Carell plays a minor role in the film, taking on the persona of Dr. Feld, a famous couples counsellor, charging $4,000 a week to make or break a marriage. I was expecting more from Carell knowing his comedic background with many of the laughing points throughout the film come from Streep and Jones as opposed to Carell, although his performance comes with little fault and is a nice addition to the film with an excellent contrast to his normal roles.
Tommy Lee Jones plays a blinder as Arnold and it is nice to see Jones in a film so different to the past. Many people will think of Men In Black when it comes to Jones, where he delivered all his lines in the same way and carried the same persona throughout the trilogy. Here, Jones is able to show emotion and a complete change in character from start to finish and I do think Jones did a better job than Jeff Bridges could have done who was offered the role first. Streep possesses a natural ability to fill the screen and produce a character that you instantly fall in love with. She is a hard actress to fault and she produces a stunning performance in this film.
The plot itself is extremely simplified and is as predictable as any other film of a similar nature but it makes for an easy watch where you leave with that warm feeling inside but unfortunately the movies soundtrack does not support the plot at all. A predictable plot does not need predictable music to back it up, its simple and obvious and music choices often let the film down but despite this minor setback the film does not disappoint.
It’s important to stress that this is not a chic-flick or geriatric comedy! It is a film for all ages and provides a fun, warm and light-hearted film. You will not be disappointed with the perfect choice of actors and excellent script writing. Venture out on the 14th September to your local cinema and catch Hope Springs, it’ll be raining anyway!
Hope Springs (2012), directed by David Frankel, is distributed in the UK by Columbia Pictures. Certificate 12A. Released 14th September.