to learn a few new tricks

Kay: He is everything. But I’m… I’m really lonely. And to be with someone, when you’re not really with him can… it’s… I think I might be less lonely… alone.

When travelling to my mum for the weekend I decided to watch a movie that I had for quite a while – but never really got around to watch … so I copied it on to my netbook and what a fantastic and unexpected bus journey I got. uk

I’m talking about “Hope Springs” from 2012 with Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell. Directed by David Frankel, the man behind “The Devil Wears Prada”. Great acting and excellent dialog,

I must say it’s one of the better and enjoyable films I seen for a long time. And it’s so true and believable. And even if I have never been marriage – I have been there myself; in a relationship that no talking happens and not much of other stuff neither. Don’t need to be married for 31 years for that to happen.

“Kay and Arnold are a middle-aged couple whose marriage has declined until they are now sleeping in separate rooms and barely interact in any meaningful loving way. Finally, Kay has had enough and finds a book by Dr. Feld which inspires her to sign them up for the Doctor’s intense week long marriage counseling session. Although Arnold sees nothing wrong with their 30 yearlong marriage, he reluctantly agrees to go on the expensive excursion. What follows is an insightful experience as Dr. Feld manages to help the couple understand how they have emotionally drifted apart and what they can do to reignite their passion. Even with the Doctor’s advice, Kay and Arnold find that renewing their marriage’s fire is a daunting challenge for them both.” text;

Dr. Feld: What about oral sex?
Kay: I wasn’t… I wasn’t comfortable with that.
Dr. Feld: Giving or receiving?
Kay: [pause] Huh?

Tommy Lee Jones (Arnold) or Meryl Streep (Kay) gives a great performance, going to a couple’s therapy session run by Steve Carell? The perfect set-up for lots of laughs, but then we realize the situation is really not funny. Steve Carell made Dr. Feld very real.

“Hope Springs” is a movie about the ingredients of happiness or lack of same, and the finesse of the actors, the director, the cinematographer and the editors is magnificent. They never stooped to dwell on any sort of cliché dialogue or acting flourishes. It was believable.

It is very good film because it manages to stay small, not go for cheap histrionics, and shows plenty of quiet moments that help you understand how partners in a relationships  fail to communicate. It is also an appeal to those members of the audience who might understand how precious it is to find and lose a soul mate. Overall, the film communicates its message in an engaging and efficient way.

Tommy Lee Jones is in a state of grace for this film. He is brilliant, funny and fiercely believable. Here he finally gets his teeth into a substantial lead which asks him to give it his all. In my eyes one of Tommy’s best performances.

Reality is often painful and it’s a very frank movie.
This is a real movie for real people … Enjoy!

The soundtrack have some really great tracks like;

“It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” – Lenny Kravitz
”Why” – Annie Lennox
“Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green
“I Wish You Well” – Daniel May
“Bright Side of the Road” – Van Morrison
“Everybody Plays The Fool” – The Main Ingredient
“Aint Love Something” – Sam & Ruby

I have chosen Lenny Kravitz’s “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” to hang over this post.

“A successful marriage requires
falling in love many times,
always with the same person.”
Mignon McLaughlin

hope-springs -thinfilm at

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30 thoughts on “to learn a few new tricks

  1. I have not seen this movie. But, the novel I am working on now has a similar theme about marriage. It takes two to couples through difficulties, shows how each of them handles those difficulties, and which couple ultimately saves their marriage in the end. Thanks for sharing about this movie. I will have to check it out.

    • I think communication is the most important ingredients in any relationship – and I think sex comes second. But without communications the sex will be not work neither. Of course it takes two to tango. The movie is brilliant and not at all cheesy – it’s so true.
      Been there myself.

  2. I have mixed feeling about this movie, I’m really curious, I’m fan of Meryl, but this kind of story doesn’t seem to fit her according to my own personal taste, but I’ll watch it anyway, she’s a star.

    • Personal I thought that the “Iron Lady” was a massive letdown – but I’m a big fan of her – and she is that kind of actor that can take on any part and does is brilliant. I don’t think you will be disappointed, both her and Tommy Lee are great in their part and the film is very real.

      • Iron Lady was a no no for me, didn’t like, I think what got me what that they humanized a tyrant.
        I know she’t great puling any part, remember Julie and Julia? That was a great movie, her acting was incredible.

      • Julia & Julia, anohter brilliant film of hers – and if you like that you will like this one. I have never been married, but I been were they are in the movie when nobody talks – when you feel so alone.

  3. What a great movie review. I’ve wanted to see it somehow it slipped through. I could always borrow the video, one of these days. It has a very strong cast – I love them both.

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