If we had to make a list of older stars whose work has been consistently interesting and watchable (for the most part) throughout their careers, there’s no question that Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep would certainly be near the top. Both willing to step into more dangerous territory later in their career with more challenging fare like “No Country for Old Men” or “Adaptation,” but also not afraid to go big in Hollywood cash-ins like “Men In Black” or “Mamma Mia,” both stars continue to delight audiences long after the expiration dates of many of their contemporaries.
Now the two have teamed up with Streep’s “The Devil Wears Prada” director David Frankel for “Hope Springs,” a film that follows a middle-aged couple who’s been married for thirty years as they attend an intense counseling weekend to figure out what they have left in their marriage. MovieFone has the first trailer, which looks like it could be somewhere between their more interesting work and Hollywood fare. Showcasing a bit more of a raunchy side than we expected, with a marriage counselor played by Steve Carrell encouraging the pair to become intimate on a far more sexual level than they’ve been engaged in for quite some time. This leads to Streep reading sex tips requiring her to practice on a banana, and Jones voicing his fantasy of a threesome with Streep and a Corgi-loving neighbor.
Anyway, raunchiness aside, the real draw here seems to be the palpable chemistry between Streep and Jones, who certainly make a decent pairing. It also looks like a big step up for helmer Frankel, who’s coming off the bird-watching comedy “The Big Year,” which notoriously flopped pretty hard early in 2012 despite boasting a cast including Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson. And it's kind of nice to see Jones atypically playing loose and funny; it's a welcome change of pace.
The film will hit theaters on August 10th, so we’ll have to see if this is just another bit of Hollywood treacle or an entertaining and sentimental popcorn romp.