The movie provides a master lesson in great American character acting, but viewers are also invited to just kick back and enjoy the fun of watching famous, aging movie stars pretend to have difficulties in the sack.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
An awkward cross between a domestic comedy and a marital tragedy that's laced with laughs, soggy with tears and burdened by a booming, blunt soundtrack that amplifies every narrative beat
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
It's about as uncomfortable as sitting through an interminable counseling session - involving two people you hardly know and don't much care about.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
"Hope Springs" is a minor miracle of a movie.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
"Hope Springs" panders with the clumsiness of grown-ups trying to do "Step Up" dance moves.
Mark Feeney - Boston Globe
Jones and Streep give likable enough performances as a humane monster and a human victim. But their characters never become more than that.
Simon Abrams - Village Voice
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.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
A surprise that sneaks up and moves you, "Hope Springs" has the courage of its awkwardness, and this is said admiringly in the spirit of the film, which is irony-free and unfashionably earnest.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
It's all a little depressing.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
Though falling short of what might have been, Hope Springs must still be recommended as superior entertainment for card-carrying grown-ups.
Kathleen Murphy - MSN Movies
The film, a rehab job on a beached marriage, displays the most tender respect, the most exquisite tact, and yet it would be completely unwatchable -- an outright embarrassment -- with any other actors than Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep.
David Denby - New Yorker
The reason to see it is for Jones.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
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.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
These modest virtues are buried under such hard-sell devices as a manipulative muzak score and sitcom-style close-ups that disrupt the narrative momentum.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
As the wife whose feelings are right on the surface and the husband whose are in a lockbox, Streep and Jones earned my empathy without asking for it. There are few actors whose body English is as eloquent.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Sometimes a serviceable story is elevated by a masterstroke of casting. In "Hope Springs," it's two masterstrokes.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It keeps undercutting itself by going for cheap laughs. It wants to be an adult film, but it obviously feels adults need constant, broad tickling to hold their attention.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Thanks to tremendous performances from Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep, "Hope Springs" is a charming film.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
For mature audiences who have forgotten how to smile, it takes up where The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel left off.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
An altogether pleasant surprise: a mainstream dramedy that frankly and intelligently addresses the challenges facing a couple after 31 years of marriage.
Justin Chang - Variety
"Hope Springs'' could have been unbearably schmaltzy or crude. Instead, in the hands of these expert actors and filmmakers, it's a warm and wryly affecting mid-summer treat.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Somewhere along the line, what probably started out as a character study ended up as a wobbly drama that pushes some boundaries but eventually lets everyone off the emotional hook in favor of a smoothed-over happy ending.
- Toronto Star
Much like the marriage with which it's concerned, the more Hope Springs tries to spice things up, the harder it becomes to enjoy. The moments when either works, though, really ought to count for something.
William Goss - Film.com
Yes, this is the fascinating stuff, a rare (in pop culture) look at the complex nature of the love-sex equation -- when it's too direct, when it's too vague, when it breaks down completely.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
It's something like Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes From a Marriage," as translated into the universe of the Lifetime Network.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Hope Springs has the unusual distinction of providing a sample of what an Ingmar Bergman movie might be like if made for mass American consumption.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
More comedic drama than midlife romantic comedy, rather literally titled Hope Springs holds few surprises but delivers plenty of warmth.
Justin Lowe - Hollywood Reporter
It will make you want to go home and have sex with your spouse afterward. Or at least share a longer hug or a more passionate kiss.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Hope Springs isn't an exciting movie, not remotely -- its narrative arc revolves around getting a couple on the far side of middle age to resume conjugal relations -- but I couldn't look away.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
What could have been strained farce or, worse, geezer porn, morphs instead into a film of hilarious and heartfelt pleasures. It helps that director David Frankel has two of the best actors on the planet to raise the game.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Director to Jones: "Just be yourself." Works for me. Master class in acting from the two leads.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
This well-considered look at a long marriage that has lost its spark proves that old love is as fraught as any teenage crush and sex never fades as a source of contention.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Unlike the cloying contrivances of It's Complicated, Hope Springs is audacious in its commitment to subtle authenticity, never artificially upping the dramatic stakes but instead staying true to its small yet relatable story.
As well-written as it is, with frank analysis of what can make a good marriage lose its spark over time, the film gets its emotional resonance from the heartfelt performances.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
This dramedy offers a refreshingly-honest and comedic look at an aging couple still trying to make their relationship work.
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
As estranged bedfellows, Tommy Lee Jones (he's a little bit Harvard) and Meryl Streep (she's a little bit Yale) make great combatants in a rousing battle of the sexes.
Al Alexander - The Patriot Ledger
...a refreshingly adult endeavor that benefits from its honest sensibilities and from the stellar performances of its leads.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Streep fans, I think you're going to enjoy this one. I know I did.
Tom Charity - CNN.com
It's tough to come up with new superlatives for Meryl Streep, but the 63-year-old actress delivers her most frankly sexual performance yet in Hope Springs.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
All that's missing are commercials for estrogen cream and erectile-dysfunction meds.
Sure, there's some big, general things about common couples' problems that ring true, but Hope Springs is all posturing with very little believable character building.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Should this marriage be saved?
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
Absolutely not the comedy it implies, this mostly serious, very frank story is simplistic, even awkward, but captivates because of the leads.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
[D]azzlingly graceful as a narrative and brutally frank emotionally, while still also working as a piece of popcorn entertainment...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
While it may feel familiar to some, such awkward home truths do not a great viewing experience make. Jones is bereft of charm, while Streep seems misplaced as his loyal wife.
Ed Gibbs - The National
Streep and Jones's acting is probably better than the film's direction and script deserve, but, thanks to them, Hope Springs is tender, sad, funny and honest.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Hope Springs is not an easy experience, but it is a tremendously rewarding one.
Jonathan Lack - We Got This Covered
Meryl Streep is always worth watching. That's a given.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
Who could resist a showdown between two such formidable stars, even when both (Jones does his sour, squinty thing) are coasting?
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
People will go to see this film for Streep. Its secret weapon is Jones.
Charlotte O'Sullivan - This is London
Funny and moving in equal measure.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Mildly diverting, but far from either of its lead actors' best.
Sophie Haslett - Little White Lies
Hope springs; but not without a witty, pithy script it doesn't.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
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.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
As the couple try to rekindle the bedroom flame the note of cutesy comedy kicks in and the movie gets phonier and phonier.
When cinemas are stuffed with juvenile comedies it's a great treat to watch one that is aimed at grown-ups and treats its audience as such.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
In the end, of course, it comes down to the chemistry, and this relationship really does feel like one worth fighting for.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
When you have actors this good playing a married couple, how could anything go wrong?
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Emotionally engaging and brilliantly acted, this is a sharply observed relationship comedy-drama that deserves credit for sensitively tackling a subject that's surprisingly taboo in mainstream movies.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Streep and Jones are masters at subtext, conveying everything the lacklustre script and direction miss
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
It's not a laugh-out-loud comedy but one which entertains by virtue of the wry look, throwaway remark and the leads' peerless emotional authenticity.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Witty, heartbreaking and touching by turns, it's a great little film with a strong message, of not giving up on a relationship because that's the easy way out.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
Streep is warm, and she's got the timing of a stand-up. Her performance demands you bat for her woman.
Cath Clarke - Time Out
While Hope Springs doesn't pass up many opportunities for cheap laughs, it isn't relentlessly vulgar or cruel to its characters. There is an audience for it, possibly a substantial one.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Very funny, it's also penetrating on the ravages of time on love and marriage and sweetly touching, but with abundantly incongruous randy content to heartily amuse.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
You can do yourself a solid and save some money on future therapy sessions by letting Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell guide you.
Justin Craig - FoxNews.com
Fine turns from Streep and Jones bedrock this compassionate, quietly subversive drama.
Ellen E Jones - Total Film
Jones should be in line for an Oscar nomination; so should Taylor's script. So to Streep, though her sublime skill at underplaying Kay is not as grandly showy as the Academy seems to like in her work.
Simon Foster - Screen-Space
A grounded romantic drama about seniors, sex and the mortality of a long-standing marriage...a superbly performed, subdued and meticulously directed film.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
"Hope Springs" works best in its minimalist moments, when there's only three (or fewer) actors onscreen, and they're all catching fire at the same time.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Attempts to be a relatable chick flick for the gold card crowd, but the characters are so one-dimensional and cliche.
Frances Morton - Flicks.co.nz
A sense of well-executed blandness sets in.
Philippa Hawker - The Age (Australia)
I reacted against it and they've got this adolescent attitude to sex that I found irritating too. Come on, grow up, guys.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
The film isn't one of those dumb comedies - it's really quite a serious and I thought extremely touching and intimate film, and the performances are quite wonderful, with Streep again confirming what a talent she is.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
Mercifully, David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) directs in that anonymous TV style that has no auteurist imprint but knows enough not to get in the way of the actors or the script.
Russell Edwards - sbs.com.au
A boring, depressing and inane look into a failing middle class marriage - that is unaided even by the class of its lead stars.
CJ Johnson - FILMINK (Australia)
Hope Springs ultimately showcases two masters at the top of their game - Streep and Jones.
Brad Gray - MovieFIX
Hope Springs is not so much a film that will grown on you, as one that will grow around you.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
This would be a Lifetime movie with a lesser cast, and even with this amazing trio, it drags along with only the occasional moments of honest insight
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
A portrait of a marriage that has some comedic moments but also has a dramatic impact. Streep and Jones give award winning performances.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
At this point, I'm sure even Streep knows it's a cliche to bring attention to her magnificent performance
Chris Stuckmann - Moviedex
(Director Frankel)has created one of the best adult dramas in some time.
Michael A. Smith - MediaMikes
The strong acting of the two leads is in service to a well-intentioned but very talky script ... and isn't nearly as entertaining as it would like to be.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
The premise is built on such solid and serious drama - and is so sharply observed - that it can take quite a heavy battering of humour, which it does, thanks to Vanessa Taylor's fine screenplay and David Frankel's adroit direction
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Every bit as scrumptious as anticipated . . . an intimate peek into the life of a middle-aged couple who have fallen into a rut of mediocrity and complacency
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Wow. Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep in an Ingmar Bergman film!
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
There's much here to enjoy, even if the incessant upbeat soundtrack and picture-postcard locales add a slightly too-jaunty sheen to three fine central performances.
James Mottram - The List
This is a drama (not comedy) that is probably the most honest portrayal of therapy on film. If you are old, see this movie.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
As Kay and Arnold lurch toward intimacy, the roles bring out a playful side seldom seen in Streep and practically never in Jones, his signature surliness melting into disarming smiles and tenderness.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
'Scenes from a Marriage,' with a case of the cutes...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Springs insists on maintaining just enough comedy to keep the project commercial, which essentially means reducing two protagonists with a long-shared history to caricatures.
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out Chicago
OK, you snobs who turned up your noses at 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,' try this piece of hackwork. Ugh.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
It should have been this summer's Julie & Julia or The Devil Wears Prada: a delightful Meryl Streep vehicle geared toward mature moviegoers seeking a respite from blockbusters aimed at younger audiences. Yet the picture is a letdown.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Great acting but Hope Springs drags to the point of seeming eternal.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Even though it's sometimes difficult to watch, Streep, Jones, and Carell sparkle. This should be rewarded as one of the best of the year. Taylor is a screenwriter to watch.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
Meryl Streep is excellent in this look at how relationships grow stale. Not quite the bouncy rom-com being peddled in the trailer and commercials.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
By refusing to delve deeper, the characters come off as two-dimensional symbols whom we can relate to only because we might have experienced the same dissatisfactions, rather than three-dimensional people.
Perry Seibert - TV Guide's Movie Guide
It seems more like attending a sex therapy session than a movie.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
The seasoned performers have no problem making one believe in them and what they're feeling. (Full Content Review for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Streep and Jones are pure magic. The fear, the longing, the tenderness of these characters are beautifully illuminated in performances of exquisite understanding.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
This won't make any ten best lists at the end of the year, but it ought to start a lot fruitful conversations.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
Laughs and Hope for mature movie fans
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
a complete package with good directing, writing, acting and production. It will not attract the 18-24 year old male demographic but does hit home if you are over 40 and committed to someone.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Frankel downplays the sentiment and allows his stars to explore the more tragic nuances of their stereotypical roles.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Marital dramedy is well acted but won't interest teens.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
Really, who'd have thought they'd ever see a movie with Meryl Streep in it, where someone else does all the dramatic heavy lifting?
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
If the film doesn't really explore the pain and bitterness of this marriage, it's still leagues ahead of most such attempts.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
In a media landscape that only has eyes for the sex lives of nubile young things, Hope Springs' sincere, considered, and unembarrassed exploration of mature sexuality marks a welcome exception.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
There’s a weirdly riveting intensity—and a palpable sense of privilege—to the way the movie takes us into squirmy private moments...
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Wow. Just WOW is the best way to react to what Tommy Lee Jones is doing on screen.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
The movie is an unsatisfying combination of touching and excruciating, and a large part of the problem stems from Frankel's attempt to hammer such serious and sensitive subject matter into a half-hearted comedy.
Lorien Haynes - Movieline
Hope Springs has an exceptional command of martial nuance and an appreciation of annoyance, with all the studio shenanigans getting in the way of an enlightening, possibly even restorative movie.
Brian Orndorf - Blu-ray.com
Like a Hannah Montana movie, Hope Springs argues there are no romantic ills that a walk on the beach and a few pop songs on the soundtrack can't cure.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Although much of the film essentially is a couple airing its dirty laundry, the result is both funny and touching.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
It was like watching a basketball game trying to focus on the point guard match-ups and the centers....but the story just wasn't something I bought all the way through; I was never convinced that Tommy Lee Jones' character could complete this journey.
Mark Ellis - Schmoes Know
It's a good-natured, humanely observed dramedy, geriatric or otherwise.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
If even these stars can't elevate what's really second-rate material, they can at least make it easy to take.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
This film is a terrific and welcome break from the loud and noisy films of the typical summer blockbuster.
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
First, the good news: here is a Hollywood movie for adults that deals fairly honestly with a relatable, real-life situation...
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
I don't know where Hope Springs came from, but I wish someone would tell me so I could go there and find some more movies like it.
Matt Singer - ScreenCrush
"Hope Springs" succeeds in making us think about what a good marriage is, and that's not nothing. But it makes us do too much of the work.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Hope Springs handles marriage and advanced-age sexuality with a refreshing, down-to-earth candor. In today's Hollywood, that counts as radical.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
That a Hollywood summer comedy starring two 60-year-olds is the year's most daring sex film is astounding. And also kind of sad.
Tim Grierson - Gawker
It's a film of modest ambitions, but it mostly achieves them and does so in an entertaining, emotionally honest fashion to boot.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
Although you couldn't find two better actors, they seem to have more movie-star chemistry than chemistry as a couple.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Contrasting the cookie-cutter rom-com ad campaign, Hope Springs comes as a pleasant surprise: Vanessa Taylor's screenplay is largely a subdued and thoughtful piece, a no-frills look at scenes from this marriage.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
Not only are Streep and Jones a delight to watch on-screen, but they are also easily the best things about Frankel's film, which they end up rescuing.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
Both performers are enormous fun to watch; it's not often that either of them gets a co-star so well-matched to them (or that Jones is willing to do more than coast on a wince and a grumble).
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
A schizophrenic hybrid of tee-hee sex comedy and serious relationship drama, Hope Springs finds itself hopelessly adrift in a non-committal middle ground.
Nick Schager - Paste Magazine
There aren't nearly enough movies made these days about and catering to the AARP-aged population, and even fewer still with the intelligence and insight said audience members deserve. For this, "Hope Springs" is something rather rare and special.
Just seeing this film might count as therapy for some married couples.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
It turns out that crude behavior and broad stereotypes can be made warmly human and believable when actors of the caliber of Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are the ones getting busy.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The chance to watch these two veterans stake out a very real relationship on screen, while muddling through a film that doesn't offer a whole lot beyond them.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Only an audience as constipated as these characters could mistake this lukewarm stream of pablum for a hard nugget of truth.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
How much you enjoy Hope Springs will depend largely on how much you enjoy watching old people have sex.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Becomes what Arnold fears ordering at the upscale diner in Great Hope Springs, Maine: comfort food whose flavor doesn't justify the price.
Matt Pais - RedEye
good, solid piece of counter-programing to a summer full of spectacle...Streep and Jones are both terrific.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Seeing the best in the business act out the no-eye-contact body language, the embarrassment of talking about life's most intimate details, and alternately grump or whimper about it gives this fluffy comedy a tiny dose of gravitas.
Let me just say two things: This is a smart, enjoyable, even moving film. And it's not a comedy, though that's what they're selling you.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Instead of creating complex, three-dimensional human beings, "Hope Springs" infantilizes the emotions and life experiences of older Americans.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Hews closer to Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage than to a Lifetime movie.
It's refreshing to see a film that treats intimacy among an older couple as something real and meaningful (usually it's a punch line), and Streep and Jones bring honesty and warmth to their roles.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
It's going for the truth in people's lives and, for the most part, it finds it.
Charlie McCollum - San Jose Mercury News
Sugar may help the medicine go down, but serving up the glucose in such goopy portions (especially when the elixir is the intriguing part) doesn't help anyone.
David Fear - Time Out
David Frankel wisely lets his actors do the heavy lifting and the result isn't so much an out and out comedy but a rather moving character study of two middle aged people making themselves awfully uncomfortable in order to attain a new ease with intimacy.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
It's frighteningly easy to look at the characters and see your grandparents. Or your parents. Or yourself.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
Old pros Meryl Streep and Tommy Le Jones find moments for observant, revelatory acting but this 'comedy' lacks laughs.
Kirk Honeycutt - honeycuttshollywood.com
Just when so many ticket buyers "of a certain age" seem to have given up hope, here comes a delightful "movie-movie" that's most special of effects come from its flesh and blood, very human stars.
Joanna Langfield - The Movie Minute
If Streep and Jones don't receive Oscar nominations, something is seriously wrong with Oscar.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
A thoughtful yet funny movie about how difficult it is for a married couple to maintain a close and sexy bond over the long haul. The pitch-perfect chemistry of Streep and Jones makes it a must-see for anyone who's been in a relationship, or hopes to be.
Shirley Sealy - Film Journal International
A decidedly adult drama about love and sex, wherein the comedy is largely incidental.
R. Kurt Osenlund - Slant Magazine
In the wrong hands, this film could have been a train wreck of sentimentality and stale jokes. Instead, screenwriter Vanessa Taylor has penned a marvelous script.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
It's hard to imagine any three other actors playing these roles with such deftness. But Jones, Streep and Carell pull it off with extraordinary results.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
The narrative is middlebrow and not particularly nuanced, but it provides vehicle for two sixtysomehing stars, who are just as adept at playing ordinary characters as more flamboyant roles.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Hilarious, bold, honest and witty. Meryl Streep sizzles. One of the smartest romantic comedies in years. It will go down as a classic.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
[VIDEO ESSAY] "Hope Springs" is a romantic comedy with no small amount of potential to actually save a few marriages.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
A funny and sensitive movie about the renewal of a burnt-out marriage that is one of the Best Films of 2012.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Heart-warming, irreverent and uplifting, it's a downright funny, feel-good romantic comedy/drama for adults.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
The therapy in Maine with recommended intimacy exercises for a couple married 31 years will be found hysterically funny by some, embarrassing by others, and for me, well-acted and simply amusing.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve