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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Valuable messages and themes about the joys and sorrows of a successful, long marriage. As the marriage counselor says: "Even great marriages have terrible years." The counseling sessions are full of sage advice about rekindling the spark in a complacent marriage and not taking your spouse for granted, no matter how long you've been together.
Positive Role Models
Kay works hard to try to save her marriage from the domestic malaise she feels. She seeks help from a professional marriage counselor and tries to do everything the counselor suggests to make things better, although Arnold is really hesitant and stubborn until he comes to realize just how much he wants to make Kay happy.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of talk about sex (or the lack thereof) in long marriages. Kay and Arnold have a sexless marriage, and they have to discuss it with their counselor in detail. The couple offers many specifics about their sex lives, including sexual positions, use of toys, preferences, and fantasies. Also a few scenes of passionate kissing, foreplay, and a humorous attempt at a public sex act, but only one actual love scene (no nudity).
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Language includes "hell," "prick," "damn," and several exclamations of "goddamn," "Jesus Christ," "Christ," "Jesus," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Product placements include The Golf Channel, Coldwater Creek, Barnes and Noble, Subaru Outback, and EconoLodge.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Arnold and Kay drink wine and champagne during (and after) a fancy dinner date. Kay drinks (a lot) at a local bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hope Springs -- a romantic comedy about a sixtysomething couple trying to save their 31-year marriage -- isn't very likely to appeal to most tweens and teens. Although there's no nudity in the movie's one actual love scene, plenty of sex talk (positions, preferences, erectile dysfunction) is part of the conversation as the characters explore the reasons they're no longer intimate. And there are a few scenes of passionate kissing, foreplay, and a humorous attempt at a public sex act. Language is fairly mild except for several uses of "goddamn," "Jesus," and "Christ." The couple drinks during a dinner date and gets a bit tipsy. Overall, this is a pro-marriage story that encourages husbands and wives to appreciate each other and hold on to why they were drawn to each other in the first place. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Watching Streep and Jones on screen is like experiencing a master class in acting. Here are two of Hollywood's most esteemed performers playing a couple whose marriage is in need of an everyday type of repair. Their problems don't revolve around something melodramatic like adultery and betrayal; their issues very authentically explore the myriad ways in which a husband and wife can disappoint and alienate each other after three decades together. Director David Frankel doesn't shy away from zooming in on Streep and Jones' lined faces as they reveal the hurts and truths about their nearly broken but hopefully salvageable love story.
On Dr. Feld's couch, Streep and Jones are fantastic, as is the surprisingly serious Carell (who for once isn't playing the manic funnyman). But once Arnold and Kay head back out into the charming coastal town of Hope Springs, things swing from the humorous (like Kay's tragicomic attempt at fulfilling a sexual fantasy at a movie theater) to the cliched (Kay runs away from Arnold to go drink at a local bar). Although it's not the perfect cinematic revelation you'd hope to see from Streep and Jones, Hope Springs is a tender look at what it takes to really fight for a floundering marriage.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.