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Review: Hope Springs

Separate worlds
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 9, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

Elderly couples in the movies are so cute, but when did Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep slip into that category? The two play Kay and Arnold, spouses from Nebraska who sleep in separate bedrooms and live in separate worlds. Until Kay, played by Streep as a less shrieky Edith Bunker, demands that the curmudgeonly Arnold, played by Jones as Tommy Lee Jones, join her for counseling with pop psychologist Dr. Feld (Steve Carell) at the Maine resort of the title. It's hardly The African Queen, but it does pilot some rough waters when the therapist questions them on their sex life and then assigns them "exercises." Director David Frankel downplays the sentiment and allows his stars to explore the more tragic nuances of their stereotypical roles. But he's not so lucky with Carell's self-righteous therapist. The doc's favorite metaphor for fixing a marriage is breaking a nose and resetting it. By the third time he makes the comparison you'd like see that method tried out on him.

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