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Hope Springs

August 31, 2012

I wonder how many times a female lead actress has played a character with the same name as one her male co star played in a previous role. That and other great synergy between Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones takes place in “Hope Springs,” a romantic comedy about a married couple and their attempts to spruce up their marriage.

Their marriage has some problems in the romance department. Their gifts for each other are impersonal, they sleep in separate rooms and sex between them has not manifested in any of the rooms in quite a while. The sympathetic but determined Kay played by Ms. Streep is determined to change that. Enduring the loud, “volume turned up” first few words, she becomes interested in a therapist’s course in intimacy within a marriage. The course teacher is played by the improving and recently low key, Steve Carell. (Do see Carell in “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.”)

Sadly, I rarely laugh out loud but that is my problem. The audience at times laughed so loud as to drown out the dialogue. Given its context, loud laughter was appropriate and I’ll wait for the DVD. Yes, I would see “Hope Springs” again as Streep and Jones do take a relatively realistic look at all that many do, instead of actively loving the one who is there, and has been there. It works out pretty well.

By the way Streep as stated is Kay in “Hope Springs” and Mr. Jones played “K,” officially Agent “K,” in “Men in Black.”  In “Men in Black,” Jones’ “K” goes home to the wife he has missed for so many years while protecting the earth.  In “Hope Springs” Jones’ “Arnold” is helped to understand what he has each day with his wife.

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