Hope Springs (2012 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Frankel|
|Produced by||Todd Black
|Written by||Vanessa Taylor|
Tommy Lee Jones
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Editing by||Steven Weisberg|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures
|Running time||100 minutes|
Hope Springs is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by David Frankel, written by Vanessa Taylor, and starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell. The film was released on August 8, 2012. It received generally positive reviews and the cast was praised for their performances. It was nominated for a Golden Globe, and won a People's Choice Award.
Although a devoted couple, empty nesters Kay and Arnold Soames (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones) are in need of (in Kay's opinion) help to reignite the spark in their marriage. They have slept in separate rooms for years since their youngest child went off to college, and forgo any physical affection. One day Kay (who works as a Coldwater Creek employee) tells Arnold (a partner in an Omaha accounting firm) she has paid for them to undergo a week of intense marriage counseling with Dr. Bernie Feld (Steve Carell) in a coastal resort town in Maine. Arnold, a creature of plodding, unimaginative routine, denies their marriage is in trouble and resists getting on a plane for a week of marriage therapy.
The real challenge comes in sessions with Dr. Feld as they, (mainly Kay), try to articulate their feelings, revitalize their relationship, and find the spark that caused them to fall in love in the first place. In daily sessions in his office, Dr. Feld counsels them together, each time asking increasingly frank questions about their sex life and feelings toward one another. Arnold is angry and defensive, rigidly resistant to change, and unwilling to see the depth of his wife's disappointment. Discouraged by Arnold's recalcitrance, angry and crying, Kay goes alone to a bar where she has several glasses of wine, confides in the bartendress and learns that few others are having any sex, either. Arnold visits a nautical museum.
Back together, they spend the night in the same bed for the first time in years, and Kay awakes in the morning to find Arnold's arm around her. At this sign of progress, Dr. Feld urges new measures. They make halting attempts at intimacy on the bed of their budget motel and again in a movie theater, but this time with disastrous results. In a one-on-one session with Arnold, Dr. Feld explains that couples seeking marriage counseling are doing so for a reason, and asks Arnold frankly, "Is this the best you can do?" Arnold finally takes the initiative to arrange a romantic dinner and a night at a luxury inn, where they attempt to make love in front of a fireplace, but the grand design fails. At their final session, Dr. Feld tells them they've made much progress and should take up couples therapy back home.
Back in Omaha, old habits resume. Kay offers to pet sit for a fellow employee and packs a bag to stay there, as a first step in a permanent break with Arnold. That night and with Kay already in her bedroom, Arnold ascends the stairs to bed and pauses at her door, but does not knock. Both are shown in bed trying to sleep. It is Arnold who arises, puts on his bathrobe, and enters his wife's bedroom. Kay sits up, Arnold sits down beside her and they tenderly embrace. The lovemaking that follows is warm, natural, and quietly passionate. The next morning it's clear that the marriage is in a whole new place after all. Later that year, as Kay said she fantasized, they renew their wedding vows on a beach with Dr. Feld and their grown children present, making promises to be more understanding and considerate of each other.
- Meryl Streep as Kay Soames
- Tommy Lee Jones as Arnold Soames
- Steve Carell as Dr. Bernard 'Bernie' Feld
- Elisabeth Shue as Karen
- Jean Smart as Eileen
- Ben Rappaport as Brad
- Marin Ireland as Molly
- Mimi Rogers as Carol
- Becky Ann Baker as Cora
- Lee Cunningham as Lee, The unhappy wife
The project was first announced in 2010 with Streep and Jeff Bridges in talks for the leads and Mike Nichols attached as director. Bridges soon dropped out, and James Gandolfini and Philip Seymour Hoffman were soon attached to the project.
The project then replaced Nichols with David Frankel, without the involvement of Ganfoldini and Hoffman. Steve Carell joined the cast in February 2011, with Tommy Lee Jones replacing Bridges in the opposite lead.
Reviews were mostly positive. The film holds a 74% approval rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 6.6/10, based on 159 reviews. The sites consensus says "Led by a pair of mesmerizing performances from Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, Hope Springs offers filmgoers some grown-up laughs -- and a thoughtful look at mature relationships."
|70th Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Nominated||Meryl Streep|
|39th People's Choice Awards||Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress|
|Favorite Movie Icon||Won|
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- "Jeff Bridges Won't Marry Meryl Streep In Great Hope Springs After All". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- "Meryl Streep, James Gandolfini, and Philip Seymour Hoffman May Star in Mike Nichols’ GREAT HOPE SPRINGS". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- "Meryl Streep Heads To 'Great Hope Springs' With 'Devil Wears Prada' Director David Frankel". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- "Steve Carell Will Counsel Meryl Streep In Great Hope Springs". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- "Tommy Lee Jones to Join Meryl Streep and Steve Carell in GREAT HOPE SPRINGS". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
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- Donahue, Casey. "Steve Carell Films, Greets Fans In Darien". The Darien Daily Voice. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Hope Springs (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. March 5, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- Hope Springs at the Internet Movie Database
- Hope Springs at AllMovie
- Hope Springs at Rotten Tomatoes
- Hope Springs at Metacritic
- Hope Springs at Box Office Mojo