Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hope Springs

A middle aged Omaha woman (Meryl Streep), starved for affection from her closed-off and cynical husband (Tommy Lee Jones), signs up for intensive couples counselling in Great Hope Springs, Maine with a progressive therapist (Steve Carell). After the arduous task of even convincing her husband to even attend the retreat, the loving couple must now face the even more difficult task of staring their marriage in the face and repairing many of the gaping holes that threaten to end it. "Hope Springs" is almost endlessly better than a plot description or a TV spot advertisement can make it seem thanks mostly to the presence of its two leads, who prove once again why they are two of the best at their craft, making a fun yet somehow touching picture from very tricky material. Carell also contributes nicely in a supporting role, which I think may be the kind best suited to his talents. Director David Frankel ("The Big Year", "The Devil Wears Prada") demonstrates a solid, relaxed hand here and has become reliable when it comes to these sort of lighter entertainments. "Hope Springs" was something I wasn't sure I wanted to watch, but was drawn to by the presence of its stars. I'm glad I was reeled in.