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Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

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6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 83 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Kay and Arnold are a devoted couple, but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple's specialist in the small town of Great Hope Springs, she attempts to persuade her skeptical husband, a steadfast man of routine, to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy. Just convincing the stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough – the real challenge for both of them comes as they shed their bedroom hang-ups and try to re-ignite the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first place. (Columbia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Aug 8, 2012
    88
    I think everything about the movie is too subtle and real to appeal to the "Batman" demographic, but for mature audiences who have forgotten how to smile, it takes up where "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' left off.
  2. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Aug 1, 2012
    80
    Hope Springs is an altogether pleasant surprise: a mainstream dramedy that frankly and intelligently addresses the challenges facing a couple after 31 years of marriage.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 10, 2012
    80
    Hope Springs is an oddly ambitious blend of bland humor and startling insight into the realities of married life. It's something like Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes From a Marriage," as translated into the universe of the Lifetime Network.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Aug 9, 2012
    70
    The movie perseveres with affecting, sometimes startling candor, and eventually delivers on its promise by confronting the dark fears and furtive hopes of a couple no longer young.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Aug 7, 2012
    67
    It takes an almost bracingly explicit attitude toward issues of sexual intimacy, to the degree that just seeing this film might count as therapy for some married couples. The PG-13 rating is justified, and should be taken literally, though I can't imagine too many parents bringing their kids to this one. Talk about an awkward car ride home. 
  6. Reviewed by: Ellen E. Jones
    Sep 1, 2012
    60
    Fine turns from Streep and Jones bedrock this compassionate, quietly subversive drama.
  7. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 7, 2012
    40
    When the sing-song Jones and beatifically smiling Streep are allowed to carry the dramatic weight, you can see the raw, tough-love film that Hope Springs wants to be - until Frankel starts trying to be lighthearted and cute, at which point you see the movie's real troubled marriage in full bloom.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 6 out of 25
  1. Sep 17, 2012
    10
    What a brilliant Film i am not sure which one of the three main stars you would say steels the show they are all equally as good as each other and play there parts excellently there are some very funny bits but I would not necessarily call it a typical comedy if you like The Best Marigold Hotel and Beginners you will love this if not keep away its not for you. Expand
  2. Aug 26, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You can't ask for better than two talented, well-established actors as Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. From the very start, their characters, Kay and Arnold, were easily believable. I'm sure everyone knows a couple like them- cordial, reserved, nice people, but roommates instead of the lovers they once were. Steve Carell's character as their marriage therapist, on the other hand, though likable, could have been played by almost anyone. He is fresh from "The Office", so perhaps some of us unfairly waited for him to be sarcastic and a bit funnier? (And was anyone else expecting Dwight to come waltzing in? No? Anyway...) It was a lot of fun watching Kay and Arnold muck their way through the counseling sessions and through, ahem, their "homework". I found myself at times laughing with amusement, tinged with the embarrassment one feels when they've accidentally walked in on their father changing his shorts. It would have been a more well-rounded movie had the dialogue gone further, particularly in the counseling room. There was much discussion of feelings, and assignments to get Kay and Arnold acquainted with each other, but they could have gone further, including the differences between intimacy and sex, the areas that started them down the path to a ho-hum marriage in the first place. All in all, I highly recommend this movie, as it's honest, real, and downright hilarious. Expand
  3. Sep 27, 2013
    8
    Lets face it, marriage certainly isn't what it used to be. The sacred element of marriage has changed dramatically over the decades, it doesn't hold the same tradition or relevance it once did, but there are those out there who have been married for several years, but 'Hope Springs' addresses the concept of being "happily married", a term that is thrown around all too frequently these days, Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are said couple, married for 31 years as Arnold keeps reminding us, reminding us because Kay knows the spark is gone, and Arnold uses this fun fact to remind her, just because the number is there doesn't mean it's a happy one. Kay makes Arnold his breakfast every single morning, they exchange very few words, then Arnold pecks his wife on the cheek and leaves for work. Kay takes a plunge and seeks couples counselling with Dr. Bernie Feld (Steve Carell). They fly out to secluded Maine, where their small but significant arguments begin, with Arnold naturally against the idea of a stranger helping them, but they do attend all the same. What makes the film different is its substance, it feels real, awkward, and doesn't conform to other counselling routine, they have real trouble speaking to each other, they are certainly devoted, but empty. Meryl Streep continues to fulfil the idea of her being one of the finest actresses of her time as she plays a doting but nervous wife who it seems is afraid to change the routine she and her husband partake in. Arnold seems content, while Tommy Lee Jones excellently capture a man stuck in a rut, with al the evidence of being in one too long. Steve Carell is a welcome addition to the mix, he delivers a very heartfelt and subdued performance as Bernie Feld, not falling into traps of having some miracle cure or having some special trait which sets him aside, this also puts the film above others of the same genre. It doesn't try to show some drastic change, but it does attempt to convince others that change can indeed happen, it also never puts blame on one person, because obviously with marriage it is a joint effort, there will be trials and on other occasions it simply won't work, but time and commitment can change that, rarely can a simple film like this address so much in such limited issues, but sharp, often improvisational dialogue and strong performances create a very real and insightful piece that underplays everything for maximum effect, which works. Expand
  4. Dec 20, 2012
    6
    Meryl fan? A must see for sure! Otherwise, probably not a movie you will like. I wanted to love it. I didn't. I watched it on DVD and it took me 4 evenings to finish it. It was a great premise and the actors were wonderful, but it was very slow. Definitely the director's fault. No one else's. Now I can see why it didn't do well in theaters. They needed to move it along a lot more quickly! But if you love Meryl Streep...of course you must see it! Expand
  5. Mar 20, 2014
    6
    It may maintain an unsettling tendency to shift from mundanity to extremely mature subject matter in the same breath, but with two lovable performances from both Jones and Streep, "Hope Springs" narrowly pulls ahead of its own inconsistencies. Expand
  6. Lyn
    May 26, 2013
    4
    If you've ever been to marriage counseling, this film might give you PTSD flashbacks. But admonitions to have more oral sex probably didn't solve your problems, and it doesn't immediately work wonders for Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, either. Streep can be just as brilliant at frowsy, doormat types as she is playing queen-of-the-world types see "One True Thing." But Jones is given such a humorless, curmudgeonly role that even as you root for them to work things out, you never quite buy them as a couple. Of course, it's nice to see starring parts for AARP types and they can't all be rollicking, luminous productions with great soundtracks, e.g. "Something's Gotta Give." But this really was pretty dull and dry, and the soundtrack was clueless. Collapse
  7. Sep 8, 2012
    1
    The most awkward movie ever..... If you aren't at least 60 wanting a cheap alternative to couple's therapy I recommend steering clear from this one! However, the movie is great for those that wish to start a diet as one scene in particular is sure to leave you with deep mental scaring. How this movie was green-lit I'll never know! Expand

See all 25 User Reviews

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