Hoping for more

OUT NOW! HOPE SPRINGS follows an older couple wishing that sex was as easy to sink into as this film. Sort of.

The director of The Devil Wears Prada may shoot for the 40+ crowd, but everyone can enjoy Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones), a grumpy older man who can’t seem to satisfy his wife. Or can he?

After 30 years of marriage, things have gotten a bit rusty. With a little push and drama from his wife Kay (Meryl Streep), the couple ends up in the office of marriage counselor Dr. Feld (Steve Carell) and the adventure of getting back on track starts with assignments of touching-up, sleeping side by side, Kay searching for sex tips, Arnold dropping the tragedy mask and attempts at lovemaking with the attendant situational humour. The script is fast but it’s light and if you walk out and grab something to drink, you won’t have missed much.

Even the movie’s strongest suit – characterization – remains two-dimensional, with Jones providing another variation on his Men In Black sarcasm/cynicism. And after watching Streep play strong female roles in films such as The Iron Lady it’s a pity to see her reduced to this whiny middle-aged woman.

However, there will be some laughter and possibly some secret weeping. You might even find yourself moved when the credits roll. Just don’t be lulled into forgetting all that time you spent noticing the score and the impressive landscape because the rest was a bit – well, forgettable?

Hope Springs | Directed by David Frankel (USA 2012), with Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell. Starts Sept 27