Hope Springs

Which would be worse: hearing your elderly neighbours having incredibly boring therapy sessions or watching your elderly neighbours having fumbling dry sex? Probably the latter, but it’s a close run thing. The great thing about Hope Springs is that it manages to combine both these awful activities, in two hours of unremitting shiteness. There might be something there for the older generation who will squirm along with Meryl and Tommy (and perhaps it will bring back recent memories that haven’t quite managed to be forgotten yet) but, if you’re interested in not being cinematically lobotomised, probably best to steer clear of this.

The basic premise is that after thirty odd years of marriage, Meryl and Tommy have grown into a sexless routine of a lifestyle. Tired of the neglect, Meryl turns to Steve Carell (in the world’s least funny role for the world’s most funny man) to reinvigorate her marriage. They head to some town, cheesily called Hope Springs, and undergo several torturously long therapy sessions. That’s the plot in a nutshell (although there are also a bunch of unpleasant sexercises and various uncomfortable conversations with the town’s residents) and it’s every bit as awful as it sounds.

It’s hard to find anything to recommend amidst the wreckage but, apparently, the film has been well received with many older citizens, so there must be something of interest buried in there. Perhaps it’s the sight of Meryl Streep in a negligée, who knows? I cannot, however, recommend the film on any level (other than that) and it must rank, for me, as a major disappointment, squandering the talents of three fantastic actors, one of whom happens to be my favourite comedy actor. This isn’t just hit and miss, this has been scuffed out for a corner kick all the way through.

A dismal attempt to tap into the senior ticket buying demographic, the result of which is so frivolous and boring that it might cause premature resignation to death.  

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Title: Hope Springs
Director: David Frankel
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell
Running Time: An eternity
Certificate: 12a

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