Description: 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 year long 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. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org) on www.imdb.com
I give the film “Hope Springs” a 4.5 star rating. Many of my sexology colleagues find it to be a “5” but I don’t.
Here’s why: First, the 5-star rating for what is billed as a comedy film is due to the topical matter, as yes, 20+% of all American marriages are by definition sexless, with sexual frequency10 or even fewer times per year. And that’s just who has reported in to the stats keepers. Most of the sexless couples seeking my sex coaching services are almost DOA (Dead On Arrival) and haven’t even casually touched in an average of 3-5 years. That’s no laughing matter. This film normalizes a secret found in a huge proportion of bedrooms in the USA.
I would give it a 5 for acting, as the two leading actors (Streep and Jones) are SO superb at creating a believable husband and wife scenario of a couple in a sexless rut about to crack apart to join the ranks of the big D for Divorced.
But why not a full 5? Because of a few basic issues that bothered me.
#1: This was way too much like “working” for me to enjoy this as entertainment; and for me the role of the marital or sex therapist was miscast: I kept thinking who else would have served that role and brought a solid authenticity to the weeklong therapy intensive that this onscreen couple attended, while also allowing them time away from daily life and demands back home to explore a new eroticism in a pretty and charming Maine resort town. I kept asking myself, “Do we REALLY have to watch a leading comic actor try to be the serious doctor on duty for mental health issues? OMG. I thought eagerly about someone like Gabriel Byrne’s portrayal of the therapist in the award-winning HBO show, “In Treatment”.