Hope Springs [2012]

3 stars

HOPE-SPRINGS-POSTER Directed by: David Frankel
Written by: Vanessa Taylor
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carrell, Elisabeth Shue

Looking for a warm comedy à la Nancy Meyers or Nora Ephron? Then do not watch Hope Springs. Possibly the most mismarketed film of 2012, there’s next to nothing light and fluffy about this story of a marriage falling apart. There are a few laughs here and there, but the tone is serious and the pain is shown in a very straightforward manner, not hinted at behind a curtain of comedy.

The script could’ve used a tune-up, not really in its dialog but in character development (the husband was such an insensitive, mean asshole he was practically a cartoon) and it’s not going to win any awards (well, maybe at the Globes) but this one is worth a watch for its splendid cast.

Steve Carrell ditches the “depressed loser” act and gives what is possibly the best performance of his career. He’s nuanced and subtle and not on auto-pilot. Despite being stuck with a character that’s more of a cliché than a person, Tommy Lee Jones renders impressive work and, of course, so does the incomparable Meryl Streep in a very un-flashy role. If you feel good about your marriage (or are happily unwed), feel free to check this one out. If there’s trouble in paradise, please watch something else and avoid the imminent depression.

On another note, please listen to this beautiful song featured in the movie. It’s Sam & Ruby’s “Ain’t Love Something”. Fell in love with it from the very first notes.