I find the length of marriages amazing. Most celebrity couples don’t seem to last for more then five years. A ten-year marriage shows true commitment to each other. For those that made it over twenty years, that shows that they truly love each other, even if they don’t say it. They don’t need to say anything. Actions speak more then words. To have given yourself to your lover for life is enough. Right? Well, most couples often get lost in the shuffle of their careers and families. With all the responsibility in their faces, they loose time to compensate for the time lost. So if something like that is lost, can we get it back?
For Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep, they have practically lost everything that defines love in Hope Springs. They play Arnold and Kay Soames, an older couple that is suffering empty nest syndrome and are having trouble becoming what they were before; lovers. This is something that a lot of older parents are going to relate to. My parents knew that a part of their lives (me) have moved on for college, but that didn’t mean that things would be the same before. They still work full time jobs and have their own problems like everyone else. But by a miracle, they still have found the magic to stay the same people that love each other.
The goal of Hope Springs is to take this the soame couple, and bring them back into their arms with passion. At the beginning of the movie, they don’t even sleep in the same room. They work their jobs, and treat each other like a part of their personal machine that operates their lives. They seem more like roommates then they do a married couple. At the thirty-first anniversary party, Kay (Meryl Streep) realizes that something is wrong with them and wants to ignite that spark into their marriage again.
Kay and Arnold fly up to a resort town in Maine for a week’s worth of intensive marriage counseling. The town is picturesque with that New England charm that makes you feels like you can feel that sea salt mist. Up in their care is Dr. Bernie Feld (played by Steve Carell) who offers all the help they can. What could have been a cardboard cutout romance is a cleverly written comedy-drama about how change can’t be made without letting go of your fears.
Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones have the perfect chemistry to play both the before and after image of a thirty year old marriage. You feel like they’ve been together for this long, and you really want to see them fix their problems. One surprise comes from Steve Carell. I was expecting him to become another Michael Scott character from The Office, but he pulls off a believable performance as he serious therapist who only wants the best for his clients. Hope Springs is something that isn’t just for the older crowd, but the younger ones too. They may be looking at themselves in thirty years if they learn to keep the passion.
I’ll give this four New England lighthouses out of five. The language of love is something that requires constant attention within a relationship. If you don’t use it, you loose it. What a cute little movie.