|Jones and Streep as the "happy" couple.|
Directed by David Frankel
Produced by Todd Black and Guymon Casady
Written by Vanessa Taylor
Starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell
People tend to forget that director David Frankel won an Oscar, especially when he does lightweight projects like Marley & Me, The Big Year, and this film. In his latest comedy, Kay (Streep) and Arnold (Jones) are a struggling married couple who seek professional help (at the insistence of Kay), attending a week's worth of marriage counseling sessions. They must first break down the reasons of their unhappiness with Dr. Feld (Carell), and the doctor then assigns them exercises to slowly rebuild their intimacy. However, everything does not go smoothly because Arnold is hesitant to open up. Their marriage can be saved, but Arnold must take that extra step to have a fulfilling marriage to Kay.
What can I say about a film like this? Predictable? Check. Funny? Not really. In my Letterboxd review, I put it thus: the film is "an onslaught of humorous misfires (which is true either way your read that)." Romantic comedies can be fun, like the films of Nancy Meyers, but this was just dull. Though Streep, Jones, and Carell aren't exactly miscast, they would've been better off in another movie. I saw this in a theater full of elderly couples, and I swear people were laughing out of habit. There's just nothing charming at all here, as the entire film felt like just another generic rom-com. If you want to see Hope Springs, I'd recommend the 2003 film of the same name with Colin Firth. At least it has some charm to it, unlike this - the worst film I've seen so far this year.
Oscar Potential: Best Actress (Please don't let this happen.)