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- anne on Groomed to hate Australia Noticed Saturdays West and Sunday Times had no letters about the Muslim rampages in Canada and New York or the nasty ginger ... more
- anne on Groomed to hate Australia with christmas coming on lets not pretend our school teachers are not grooming our children -- carols bad, hurt Muslims -- ... more
- Jennifer on Paul Murray Retires Sorry to hear you are retiring Paul. You would have to be the best political presenter in the country. No one comes close to ... more
- Dellas on Groomed to hate Australia They sound like a mob of blokes and their "young boys" singing "la vida loca"before a footie match. more
- Alec Strachan on Groomed to hate Australia Why have the faces been blocked out ?. Surely we need to see the faces of these trainee terrorists so we can kick their butt ... more
- Dellas on Social media slams sexist ad Were do people go when they get old and no amount of creams, botox, fillers, physical enhancers, "regimens" and medication ... more
- Perthguy on Social media slams sexist ad These are professional models that are being paid. It is a career choice and those that complain either are jealous or ... more
- Lisa on Paul Murray Retires Missed Howard after he left and will miss your informative and balanced reports. Only issue I felt was very biased was your ... more
- Jester4212 on Social media slams sexist ad Men are treated as sex objects just as much as women. It's just the female industry for it is much much larger. The ... more
- Wayne on Paul Murray Retires Our loss...but enjoy the next step. I envy you,I kno you have already seen much but we all know there is plenty more to see. ... more
- Mark on Sanderson opens up after sacking I thought he was dumped prematurely by a board who seemed to be concerned that they should look like there doing ... more
- Andrew on Muslims: Barnett's gone missing @ Carol... typical pigheaded attitude. I say this as a white Australian - born here - that they have as much right as any ... more
- steve on Social media slams sexist ad Anne, it wouldn't bother me one bit. You are living in a dream if you think people are not judged by the way they look ... more
- Anne on Social media slams sexist ad steve I dont think you want to be defined by the size of your package or lack thereof. more
- steve on A waste of open space What a great idea. Replace green, leafy, oxygen giving, animal habitats with buildings. We need more of this sort of ... more
- steve on Social media slams sexist ad Wow, what a crime! Meanwhile 100's flock to the Firemans Calendar event. I didn't hear a single guy complain. more
- Dellas on Social media slams sexist ad This whole "sexist" thing is ridiculous.Women objectify themselves, compare themselves with each other, judge each other on ... more
- Elaine on Paul Murray Retires Good luck with the rest of your life and enjoy your retirement you well deserve it. I, like the previous comments do hope ... more
- Garry Tomlinson on Muslims: Barnett's gone missing Maybe Colin is hiding with all the so called Moderate Muslims and are arranging some protests about ISIS giving Islam a bad ... more
- Ruther on A waste of open space I live in East Wanneroo where there is a majority of land owners waiting for rezoning from rural to urban but is held to ... more
With all the superhero movies and sequels and prequels and spin-offs going around it’s great to see an original, sophisticated drama for mature adults. How refreshing!
Even better, Hope Springs comes with three fine actors in Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell.
Streep and Jones are Kay and Arnold, a conservative middle class couple who’ve been married 31 years. They’re comfortable, their kids are grown up, but they’re marriage has become dull, routine, lifeless and maybe even loveless. They don’t even sleep in the same room anymore, and haven’t slept together in four years!
And that’s absolutely fine with Jones, a grumpy old curmudgeon who’s set in his ways. He thinks everything it’s normal. He likes it this way. But Streep is bored. She wants more. She wants him to touch her again. To kiss her again. To look at her like he used to – like he loves her.
At wits end, she books them into intensive couples therapy, much to his chagrin. But off they go to Maine for a week full of sessions with an ace marriage counselor (Carell), who gives them various tasks to complete.
Don’t worry! There’s no nudity or sex acts – not successful ones anyway! These two are very embarrassed about sex and very out of practice doing it. So it’s often played for laughs, with one task Carell sets for Streep in a movie theatre that goes hilariously wrong.
But at heart, Hope Springs is a serious film about a serious subject; the sex lives of older married couples. It’s also perfect for older audiences, and especially older married couples or anyone set in their ways. Indeed, seeing Streep and Jones struggling with their marriage may make you appreciate your marriage.
Well done to director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada), for getting a taboo topic onto the screen; sex between mature age people. Hope Springs is a real three hander – just Streep, Jones and Carell – so it is quite intimate, talky and gentle.
However, there’s no real peripheral characters, and that’s a pity. Frankel does not include Jones and Streep’s kids much at all. Surely they’d have opinions or try to help save the marriage?
But I don’t really mind that. A marriage is between two people. It’s very private. And often only they can save it. But I did wonder why funnyman Steve Carell is here playing a very straight and boring therapist? It could have been any actor.
Not so for Streep. She creates another curious character; a doting but bored housewife trying to spice things up or end it. She’s so plain, shy and twee. Jones is terrific as the grizzled and reluctant straight shooter, even though he goes from hostile to having all these secret fantasies faster than you can say “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”.
Hope Springs is a lovely old-fashioned love story movie for mature audiences. It reminds me of classic love stories like It Happened One Night, An Affair To Remember and Roman Holiday. It’s not as good as them. It’s not as powerful or as funny as it could be. But it’s not over-the-top either.
It’s gentle and gently paced. It’s warm and realistic. And it reminds us to never take for granted the ones we love.
Score: 7 / 10