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Marriage Goes from Lackluster to Loving in 'Hope Springs'

  • Alan Silverman

Kay Soames (MERYL STREEP) and Arnold Soames (TOMMY LEE JONES) in Columbia Pictures' HOPE SPRINGS.

Kay Soames (MERYL STREEP) and Arnold Soames (TOMMY LEE JONES) in Columbia Pictures' HOPE SPRINGS.

Hope Springs is a new comic romance starring Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. They play a long-married couple trying to rekindle the spark in their relationship.

After more than three decades together, Kay and Arnold are in a rut with the same routine day after day. For reasons neither will talk about, their love has grown cold. Desperate for help, Kay signs them up with a renowned family therapist …and Arnold is not too happy about it.


So off they go to the town of Great Hope Springs and the office of Dr. Bernie Feld.



Gradually the therapist teaches them to recognize their problem. But solving it remains a challenge -- they must meet together in order to stay together.

Streep plays Kay and, although the film is about a couple in their fifties, she believes audiences of all ages can appreciate it.

"I don't think it is age-specific. I think you can enter that zone of not knowing how to reach each other in an intimate relationship at any point," she says.

Ironically, comic actor Steve Carell in the serious role of Dr. Feld, the therapist. Tommy Lee Jones plays Arnold and says acting opposite Streep fulfills a dream.

"We met in the 1970s and, of course, I've always wanted to work with her since the day I first laid eyes on her," he admits.

Arnold Soames (TOMMY LEE JONES) and Kay Soames (MERYL STREEP) in Columbia Pictures' HOPE SPRINGS.

Arnold Soames (TOMMY LEE JONES) and Kay Soames (MERYL STREEP) in Columbia Pictures' HOPE SPRINGS.

Economical with his words, Jones says it was simply a matter of being true to the character's emotions. But Streep believes the film realistically shows how a couple finds a way to fall in love again.

"It is just a little movement within a relationship," she explains, "but it's seismic and speaks to people. It speaks to your deepest yearning for connection."

With all of the film's serious issues, Director David Frankel says he always kept in mind the potential for humor.

Kay Soames (MERYL STREEP) and Arnold Soames (TOMMY LEE JONES) in Columbia Pictures' HOPE SPRINGS.

Kay Soames (MERYL STREEP) and Arnold Soames (TOMMY LEE JONES) in Columbia Pictures' HOPE SPRINGS.

"It's funny because it is awkward or so intimate that you can't believe you're going to hear these people be so open and vulnerable with each other," Frankel says, "and knowing how painful and difficult that is for them. So every day that we were shooting I wanted to remember that this should be funny also."

Vanessa Taylor wrote Hope Springs and the movie was shot on location in the northeastern state of Connecticut.
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