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August 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hope Springs is as much about a marriage between two masterful acting talents, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, as it is about the unraveling marriage of the principal characters. “The characters aren’t fabulously dimensional, but the actors are,” writes Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. Moreover, he concludes, “it’s gratifying to see a movie that doesn’t have anything to do with superheroics or the end of the world, merely ordinary heroics of the human heart.” That’s a sentiment echoed by a number of critics, including Rex Reed, who writes in the New York Observer, “In an age of idiotic garbage overpopulated with alternate realities and toxic avengers in Halloween costumes, I cannot tell you how touching, restorative and vitamin-enriching it is to see a gentle, tender and intelligent film with A-list stars playing real people dealing with real problems in the everyday world.” And if a film about a married couple in their 60s struggling to recapture the sexual allure that originally brought them together doesn’t sound like it’s something for you, then Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News urges: “Don’t dismiss it. You’ll miss out on a genuinely sweet, perfectly acted, remarkably brave little movie that should make audiences swoon for something they thought was gone — a smart dramedy for grown-ups.” Clearly, however, the movie is not for everyone. Claudia Puig in USA Today says that “it’s about as uncomfortable as sitting through an interminable counseling session — involving two people you hardly know and don’t much care about.” And Mark Feeney in the Boston Globe observes that he wound up feeling “embarrassed for Streep and Jones (Streep especially) because of the situations, often sexual, they’re put in. They’re definitely not mailing in their performances. They keep doing their best to light a fire under the movie. But even the most talented Eagle Scouts can’t do much when they’re rubbing together waterlogged sticks.”