Streep shines in touching romantic comedy

Director David Frankel and Academy award-winning actress Meryl Streep reunite after their 2006 fan-favorite film “The Devil Wears Prada” for “Hope Springs” in theaters now.

The movie centers on the dysfunctional 31-year-long marriage of Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) and Kay’s efforts to spice things up with her unwilling husband.

Tommy Lee Jones once again plays the gruff and grumpy old man who never smiles until the end of the film — a character Jones is extremely familiar with.

Streep, however, earns a new role to add to her long list of successful characters.

From the time she played the immortal Madeline in “Death Becomes Her,” to the athletic and heroic Gail Hartman in “The River Wild” to the happily renowned and world-famous chef in “Julie & Julia,” Streep’s acting prowess — which has been increasing since the mid ’70s — has never faltered.

In “Hope Springs,” Streep tries on the role of an unhappy housewife caught in a sexless marriage.

The couple seeks aid and counseling from the well-respected psychologist Dr. Bernie Feld (Steve Carell) and travels more than 200 miles to the fictional small town of Great Hope Springs for a weeklong “intensive” marriage counseling session.

Steve Carell finally sheds his image as the goofy and immature party animal and successfully portrays the well-intentioned Feld — one of the few serious roles he’s been cast for.

Carell has come a long way since his appearance as the batty imbecile of “Dinner for Schmucks” and his blissfully ignorant days in NBC’s “The Office.”

The only negative quality about the movie is its slightly anti-climactic series of events. Despite that though, the film excelled in quality and overall cast choice.

Reminiscent of Frankel’s “Marley & Me,” “Hope Springs” is the perfect romantic and touching film to attend with a girlfriend, sister or mother.

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