Advertised as a comedy, Hope Springs seemed like the ideal choice for a night out at the movies while we were away on holiday. With a previous three-decade and two-decade marriage between us, we found the movie light on laughs and big on raw, poignant moments. The movie is more correctly labelled a “relationship drama” said one reviewer. If you go to the movie with this in mind, you can be prepared for those moments of raw recognition, that peel back the memory of pain like sunburn. And this offers the comfort of “You mean I’m not the only one to go through that?”
Interestingly, friends who are well on the way to a five-decade marriage – and a lovely marriage it seems to be, says me from the sidelines – tell us whether your marriage survives or ends, anyone with a long marriage is going to have moments of personal recognition when they see Hope Springs. We sure enjoyed digging down deep into the marriage relationship when we all talked about the film together – and I like the kind of film that keeps you thinking and discussing for about as long as it took to see the film!
On that basis – top marks to Hope Springs’ scriptwriter and, as always, top marks to Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones for, with the subtlest of acting, conveying the most complex and conflicting emotions.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship long enough to wonder what it was you ever saw in the person, this is your movie. You are not alone!
I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but have to say I thought it was sickly and lacking the substance of the rest of the movie. Anything to send American movie g0ers home smiling, I suppose.