A security team bagged and tagged the audience’s cell phones at the preview screening of “Hope Springs” on Monday night. Like at a coat check, the movie fans were given numbered tags to identify which brown paper bag held their phone. I thought it odd that the movie company chose to ban cell phones from “Hope Springs” but not from “Total Recall.” During a preview of “Total Recall” on Thursday, the audience was told to turn off their phones but they were allowed to keep their devices in their pocket or purse.
At first glance, it would seem that the audience for “Total Recall” would be more tech-savvy and therefore more likely to post an image from the film on their Facebook wall. I wondered how many people in the audience for “Hope Springs” even knew there was an app for their LinkedIn account. After all, “Hope Springs” is featured on the cover of AARP The Magazine.
I think the reason for the more stringent ban has more to do with the scripts than with the audiences. “Total Recall” is a generic sci-fi action film. It’s a fun ride but it doesn’t challenge the audience in any way. The most interesting tweet to escape from the screening might have been something like “Biel & Beckinsale #catfight!”
“Hope Springs” however, is full of witty lines and gasp-inducing truths about old married couples. The audience LOL-ed repeatedly, between tender moments. Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play an Omaha couple who travel to Maine to see a marriage counselor played by Steve Carell. It would ruin your enjoyment if you read the good parts online before seeing the movie.
The closing credits included an acknowledgement for the Journal Broadcast Group. Apparently the company (which employs me) provided footage of their “Morning Blend” newscast to bring some Omaha to the filming location in Connecticut.