Directed by David Frankel
It seems Meryl Streep has found a new pastime: when she isn't off winning awards, she makes dirty movies for old people. Hope Springs may be at times quite entertaining, but it is effectively just that.
Okay, before I get this review going too far, let me make this single fact be known: I love Meryl Streep. Completely, to my core, I think she is easily the greatest actress in the history of film, and truly don't believe there isn't any role she couldn't perfect. That being said, I feel she was the wrong choice for this role. To add to that, I don't think Steve Carell was a particularly strong casting choice as well. The fact that this movie took the greatest actress of all-time and one of the greatest active comedians and put neither of them to good use should be an indicator of how dull this movie is.
Despite the fact that Streep and Carell were poorly utilized, there was one actor who really stepped up his game: Tommy Lee Jones. Though he plays the same basic role that he seems to play in every one of his movies, Jones is given most of the great material (both comedic and dramatic) and runs away with it. If it weren't for him, I would say this was one of the weaker movies I've seen this year. As it stands, it's just okay. Regardless, Jones is a lot of fun and manages to make the whole thing worthy of a watch, even if just for him.
When it comes to the technical aspects of this movie, there is very little here to report. No, it doesn't feel like a student film, nor does it look like a profound, technical marvel worthy of accolades. You must remember going into this movie that it is a studio comedy-drama, with nothing new to offer and very little to be impressed by. If you can stand this fact, you may well enjoy this movie. If not, well, don't even bother, because you won't get your money's worth (assuming, of course, that you actually spent money to see it).
The story is fairly typical, the dialogue is predictable (yet often humorous), the acting is adequate, and the time dedication required to sit through it is relatively little. I can't say this was a good way to spend 100 minutes, but there are certainly worse ways to. High praise, I know.