Is it just me? Or is Meryl Streep amazing? Every role she plays is believable and she is able to disappear into the character. As I watched Hope Springs I was again finding it hard to believe this was the same woman who played Julia Childs and Miranda Priestley. Man, she’s good. So subtle and nuanced. As you may have figured, the acting is the reason to check out this movie. Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are wonderful.
That’s not saying that the film fails in other departments, it is a bit thin and plays in familiar territory, but overall it wins you over with the fine performances and the realistic approach to the theme.
You may have guessed that I love realism in my movies (except for when there are Vampires or Superheroes involved :)) and I appreciated that writer Vanessa Taylor and director David Frankel based the couples’ problem on how real people would deal with it. There is no easy fix or sappy realization of what needs to be done, while the music soars in the background. It is slow, painful and difficult to change years of behavior and they did not shy from showing that process. Well done! Add Steve Carrell as the unusually cool, laid back therapist and you have an interesting character study of this couple.
I am sure many will relate, as I did in several areas. It is refreshing to see substance in the romance genre and for that alone it is worth a viewing. Now, it is more drama than comedy (dramedy) so adjust your expectations and you will lose yourself in their story.