Monday, 31 December 2012

Hope Springs: Blu Ray Review

Hope Springs: Blu Ray Review


Rating: M
Released by Roadshow Home Entertainment

Welcome to the world of Twilight sex.

Not Edward and Bella - this is an altogether less supernatural phenomenon, although frankly, no less terrifying.

Meryl Streep's Kay and Tommy Lee Jones' Arnold have been married for over 30 years.

They're in the later years of life, and also their love life. Stuck in an endless routine - the same eggs and bacon for Arnold for breakfast every day, the same Arnold slumped asleep, watching the golf channel at night and the same separate bedrooms without a hint of intimacy - Kay decides enough is enough.


Rather than walking out the door, Kay enrols Arnold and herself in a week long intensive couples therapy clinic run by Steve Carell's Dr Feld.

Unsurprisingly, Arnold's against the whole idea and is cynical about being involved in the first place. As time goes on though, the pair begin to discover intimacies about each other held long locked away and face truths which could prove difficult to overcome.

Hope Springs is a dramedy, with the emphasis more on reality and drama than endless bouts of sex comedy.

Streep and Lee Jones are perfectly matched and deft at breathing life into this somewhat unoriginal story. Sure, we've all been to films where couples are having trouble but this one is adept at putting the story squarely into the latter stages of life. Both the leads bring a light comedic touch to a tale which is essentially downbeat and seriously dramatic in parts. They lift the duo from being stereotypes and give them a warmth and humanity which makes you empathise with them - and Kay and Arnold's situation - immediately and as the film goes on. both handle what's asked of their characters wonderfully. Sure, there are comedic moments which are required of both but the drama lingers long after the humour's worn off and as the therapy (both for the audience and the characters) grinds on.


Equally, Carell who spends most of the time smiling sympathetically is incredibly convincing in his dialled-down turn as the therapist.

That's the thing with Hope Springs - it has a hefty dose of reality which may hit a little too close to home for some in the audience; there's a tenderness and honesty to the script which may cut to the quick but has its roots squarely in something which may face many in years to come.

Hope Springs is quite a serious piece - despite how knockabout the trailer initially appears, with a pace that may actually give you the feeling that it's infinitely longer than it is.

However, you should also be aware that there's plenty of squirm in your seat moments as we have the duo discuss their sex lives, watch Meryl's character Kay literally get in touch with herself and hear sex talk that may frankly put you off any meal you may be about to have...It's to be applauded for getting this kind of thing on the big screen, a rare feat in Hollywood these days, but for some in the audience not over a certain age, it could be a hard ask.

But what you should be impressed with in Hope Springs is an adult dramedy that really does explore what it's like to be older, and dealing with issues of intimacy and attraction - with two very impressive performances by Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep.


Extras: Gag reel, an expert's guide to lasting passion, commentary, making of, and couple of other pieces with the cast

Rating:

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