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Hope Springs Onto The Bed Springs

Welcome to the second edition of The RedHots – News Reviews and Interviews – Two Redheads with Two Hotheaded Opinions

TODAY’S REVIEW

Hope Springs Onto The Bed Springs

I was excited when Jess Witkins suggested we review the movie, Hope Springs. I checked out the trailer and thought, “Hmm, this is one movie that might not make Hubs roll his eyes.” I even showed him the trailer:

After all, he’s a fan of Tommy Lee Jones and the movie is about people our age. Seriously, I was kidding myself. Even though my husband is closing in on 64, he’s a death metal rock lover and he’s one of those movie buffs who remembers all the best lines as well as, the most obscure actors. He’s very discerning about movies.

 

He kinda likes me so, he agreed to go and promised not to roll his eyes. He Movie theater popcornwas the only man in the whole, entire theater! Not that it bothers him to be surrounded by women, but it was a dead on clue that this was going to be a dreaded CHICK-FLIK!

 

I appeased him with buttery popcorn and promises of another kind of entertainment at home. ;)

 

Okay, so Hope Springs, a tiny New England coastal town is the quaint setting for most of this movie. The old church, clapboard sided homes, kitschy shops, Victoriana – cute.

 

The Actors – Meryl Streep who totally dives into every part she plays, and Tommy Lee Jones who is not your typical leading man type but, a great character actor. Then there’s Steve Carrell, a super comedic actor, who was given a bland role. I suppose the idea behind that was to have it come across more tongue in cheek. You know, funny guy playing a straight role. But it didn’t.

 

The Setup – Kay (Meryl) and Arnold (Tommy Lee) are a middle-aged married couple with grown kids. Their marriage is stale and at the point of no return unless something is done to fix it, asap. Kay is willing to do anything to save their marriage, while Arnold resists knowing he’ll hate the process. Kay convinces Arnold to go to a week-long therapy encounter with counselor, Bernard Feld (Steve). Sex, or the lack thereof, seems to be the prickly point between them. However, we find out it goes deeper.

 

It seems that Jess was totally creeped out by the intimate details that required work in Kay and Arnold’s marriage. You know that feeling when you first realize your parents HAVE SEX–under the same roof as you– that can only be described as EEWW?! Yup, that’s how Jess reacted.

I get it. I’m a mom. Parents know it’s not eeww!

However, after decades of spending every night in the same bed with the same man, it’s not always so HOT either. I mean, really…he may be wrinkly, have a paunch or have trouble making his little soldier stand at attention.

Love transcends all that stuff, right?

Hope Springs, summer movie

Hope Springs addresses intimacy issues in a 30-year marriage. In many marriages (my first one of 28 years, included), life gets busy and couples get disconnected. Insecurities get a foothold and suddenly we’re not sure how our life partner feels about us, in any way.

On with the review:

What You’ll Love:

Meryl is spot-on in her portrayal of Kay’s quiet desperation to save her marriage. Kay is a SSS woman in that she toughs out Arnold’s seeming indifference and loves him anyway.

Tommy Lee is so great at making us believe Arnold difficulty in recognizing Kay’s profound unhappiness. Arnold comes to realize that if he opens up a little, he can affect the right changes in their marriage.

Kay and Arnold are so real. They try too hard to make things perfect during their assignments and they fail. But eventually they find their way.

Jess and I loved the costumes and so will you. Kay works at Coldwater Creek and he clothing must have come right off the rack. Her wardrobe speaks volumes of her personality. Arnold is an accountant and wears the grey suit that must be the uniform for accountants. His personality is equally understated.

The sexual references were sometimes funny and sometimes facetious. Mention of threesomes, Kay eating a banana while reading Sex Tips For a Straight Woman From a Gay Man, the wild kiss Arnold plants on Kay as he crushes her against the kitchen counter, the movie theater scene, the questions Dr. Feld asks and the assignments he gives them!

Everyone loves a happy ending, right? Hope Springs delivers in the best way.

 

What You May Not Love:

Steve Carrell’s character is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek funny. Steve’s the funny man playing a straight role. It falls flat, in my opinion.

The music score is filled with amazing pop music from artist’s such as Madi Diaz and Andy Grammer. It’s upbeat and then melancholy where it counts. I just thought classic music to fit their generation would be featured.

You may walk away from this film thinking it was one big cliche’ – until you remember the times you nodded knowingly through some of the scenes. You’ll remember the sweet way they love each other and their hope for a happy ending. It won’t seem so cliche’, after all.

 

The Bottom Line:

I loved this late summer flick. A visual “beach-read”. Take your Mom (if she’s cool), your bestie, even your daughter but, don’t take your main squeeze with you.

My husband didn’t fall asleep, nor did he roll his eyes but he didn’t love it. He thought it was ridiculous that Arnold wore a full set of pajamas to bed. Hubs thought that’s not the way to inspire desire.

It was a sweet story to cap off the summer. Go see for yourself, then let me know what you think.

 

Now hop on over to Jess Witkins’ place and experience this movie through a 20-something’s eyes!

By the way, Jess, my Hubs has perfect, unwrinkly and kissable lips!

 

 

 

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Discussion

  1. Elizabeth Anne Mitchell  September 29, 2012

    You made me laugh out loud about Jess’ “ewww” reaction! I’ll have to go read her post, but I have to say, our sons used to scold us for public displays (and nothing all that revelatory!) when they were younger. I put a stop to that pretty quick, but it was a conversation full of their “eww, Mom, you shouldn’t even know about that!”

    That said, my husband knows he can make my head spin by talking about my parents. . . eeewwww! LOL
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    • Marcia Richards  September 29, 2012

      Hi Elizabeth! Yes, Jess, is really the comedian in this duo. I’m okay being her “straight man”, so to speak!

      For us, PDAs are a good thing. I told my kids it’s natural and healthy for people of all ages to kiss and hold hands. (Of, course, there’s a limit to what’s okay in public.) ;) So, If my son or daughter want to throw up at the sight of us kissing ‘hello’ or calling each other ‘Babe’, let them. Haha!
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  2. Jess Witkins  September 29, 2012

    Ok Marcia, I blasted the Redhots around Facebook under the Sisket and Ebert (only much cuter) idea of Inspiring Tale or Epic Fail? LOL

    I love your post, and it’s a very honest breakdown of the film. I’m surprised your husband didn’t enjoy it, as there are plenty of funny parts. But it is definitely geared more towards women.

    Kudos on the Carrell call out! Parts where I thought he was trying to be funny or light-hearted about the situation came off as really awkward for me. He was almost too blunt. If I was on that couch, I’d be very taken aback by a lot of his questions.

    And, P.S. I’m glad your husband doesn’t suffer from melt mouth face. I’d be very worried otherwise.
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    • Marcia Richards  September 29, 2012

      Ha, Jess! I sent you a pic of Jim at your twitter feed as proof of no “melt mouth face”!
      Re Carrell: what a waste of talent that role was for him, or maybe he just can’t do ‘tongue-in-cheek’ humor.
      Like i said, my hubs is a movie nut and has seen it all. This didn’t do it for him. Besides, he doesn’t like Meryl. Can you believe it?!
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  3. Diana Douglas  September 28, 2012

    Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep are such marvelous actors that I’d probably watch them read the phone book. I’m putting Hope Springs on my list of movies to see.
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  4. August McLaughlin  September 28, 2012

    Wow. What varied reviews! LOL Now I have even more reason to see it. I bet I’ll end up somewhere between you and Jess… I LOVE Meryl Streep (who doesn’t?) so if nothing else, I’ll see and enjoy it because of her.
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