Hope Springs film review: Who would watch a drama about a couple with no sex drive?

CHRIS TOOKEY: Hope Springs: Who would watch a drama about a couple with no sex drive

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UPDATED:

09:02 GMT, 14 September 2012

Hope Springs (12a)

Verdict: Hope dies

The trailer for Hope Springs
promises us a middle-aged sex comedy along the lines of It’s
Complicated, an enjoyable romp that also starred Meryl Streep.

Much is
made of the fact that it’s directed by David Frankel, who brought us The
Devil Wears Prada.

But all that’s misleading. Hope
Springs is really an earnest drama about a couple (Tommy Lee Jones and
Streep) who have lost their sex drive — and, it would seem, any ability
to talk about their emotions.

Hope Springs is really an earnest drama about a couple (Tommy Lee Jones and Streep) who have lost their sex drive  and, it would seem, any ability to talk about their emotions

Hope Springs is really an earnest drama about a couple (Tommy Lee Jones and Streep) who have lost their sex drive and, it would seem, any ability to talk about their emotions

This being America, they have to visit
an expensive therapist (Steve Carell). The result is a weirdly
distasteful experience, like having to watch your own parents talk about
having sex.

The creepiness is worsened by
Carell’s performance, which is so bland and eerily impersonal that,
inadvertently, it comes across as prurient.

The film’s strong points are its noble
intentions and the nuanced performances by Streep and Lee Jones. But
I’m not sure who will actually enjoy this movie.

It’s nowhere near as brave or
psychologically astute as, say, Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From A Marriage,
but it’s not funny or heart-warming enough to deliver as comedy.