Well its been a bit too long since my last post, I’ve been busy settling in to my new house for my second year of uni. Fortunately there has been no lack of media to talk about so first of all I’ll talk about romantic comedy, Hope Springs. When I originally saw the trailers for the film I thought it looked a bit naff but thanks to the persuasion of some trusted reviewers and a girlfriend who has had enough of miserable films I decided to give it a watch.
Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones star as a couple whose marriage has completely lost its spark, Streep, desperately trying to salvage it books an intensive counselling course in Hope Springs where they are helped through their issues by Dr. Feld, played by Steve Carrell. I went in thinking Carrell would be the one bringing the laughs, but his psychiatrist is a surprisingly straight turn for the actor best known for his hilarious performances on The U.S. Office. Instead the majority of the laughs come from Jones, whose grumpy old husband frequently produces a chuckle just from his facial expressions and extreme pessimism. Streep is, as always, perfect for her role but in my eyes it’s really Jones that steals the show.
With the exception of a about three scenes though, this film isn’t so much about the laughs and much more about its central couples relationship which it deals with very seriously and provides an uplifting look on long-lasting marriages with a heartfelt conclusion. It never feels to over the top or corny, it’s just all very nice indeed. The only issue is the film is so happy to just sit in its comfort zone. It will hardly stretch outside its target audience and will end up lumped alongside all the other romantic comedies about aging couples that middle-aged couples will buy on dvd and never watch, or maybe watch once and forget. But in truth it deserves to be more than that, perhaps the film makers should have taken a bit more risk and chucked a few more jokes in that would appeal to a younger viewing age, as this film should really get much more exposure than it inevitably will.