Film Review: Hope Springs

There are usually reasons why I watch a film. The reasons I watched Hope Springs were based on previous form: the director of Brassed Off and Little Voice; based on a book by the writer of The Graduate; starring Heather Graham and Minnie Driver. I wish that I had known what it was like in advance, so I could have told myself not to bother watching it.

Colin Firth, a man who seems to have a career based solely on being Mr Darcy in a well-respected TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, plays a man who runs away to America after being sent an invite for his fiancee’s wedding to another man. He ends up in Hope, Maine, and proceeds to draw portraits of locals using charcoal and have lots of sex with Heather Graham. Then his ex (Driver) turns up, to tell him that there is no other man, it was just a hint to him to marry her. Which is pretty fucking stupid, even for a film. She seems to want him back, even though she doesn’t actually show it in any emotional way whatsoever, and there is some stupid farce-like misunderstanding of intent and story that is frankly embarrassing.

The ever-enjoyable Oliver Platt is in it and not used to any real affect, and then the story ends with Firth proposing to Graham (even though he does it, as everything, fairly woodenly) and then carrying her all the way back to his motel room. The film only seems to exist because of the quaint notion that there is a small town in America called Hope, which is tenuous to say the least. A romantic comedy that is neither romantic or comedic is not a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes.

Rating: DA

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