Natalie Stendall’s Film Review: Hope Springs is poignant and funny, a solid romantic comedy drama not to be missed

Hope Springs is a refreshing romantic comedy drama brought to us from the director of The Devil Wears Prada, David Frankel.

Based on the idea that ‘marriages don’t change’, Hope Springs sees Kay (Meryl Streep) try to recapture the magic with her husband of thirty years, Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones).

From the very first scene it is clear that this couple have been growing apart for some time.

Sleeping in separate bedrooms, we meet Kay as she finds the courage to enter Arnold’s room in an enticing neglige. His excuses are awkward and uncomfortable.

Stuck in a repetitive daily routine Kay decides the time has come to change their stale relationship and books an intensive week-long counseling session with Dr Feld (Steve Carell). Unwilling to accept their problems, Arnold reluctantly agrees to the idea. From here we are taken on a journey through the highs and lows of Kay and Arnold’s marriage that focuses largely on their sex lives for the most comedic value.

The highlight of Hope Springs is an incredible performance from Tommy Lee Jones who is utterly convincing as the grumpy, middle-aged husband who struggles to express his emotions, delivering some nice quips along the way. Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep offer a master class in awkward, nervous body language - their characters’ unease as visible in their mannerisms as in their dialogue.

Joined by Steve Carell as the sensitive, unfazed Dr Feld, Hope Springs has a strong lead trio. Even with limited references to Feld’s personal life, Carell manages to give him a strong identity that makes Feld deeply appealing.

Hope Springs has a strong script from Vanessa Taylor (Game Of Thrones) that feels fresh and well paced with characters that are honest and endearing. As Kay and Arnold negotiate their sexual issues, Hope Springs is brimming with giggles that are also tinged with sadness. Despite its uplifting moments, for the most part Hope Springs is resoundingly sad, sensitively depicting the reality of growing apart.

Hope Springs is both poignant and funny with superb performances from its lead cast. A solid romantic comedy drama, that fans of this genre should not miss.

Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 99 minutes

Verdict: ✭✭✭✭5 stars