'Hope Springs' was panned upon release by British film critics. Though the film does have a tendency to resort to some lazy British stereotyping, and whilst it is another lighthearted rom-com starring Colin Firth in his usual bumblingly charming role, and Heather Graham in her typecast zany but gorgeous love interest role; the film has been hard done by. Likeable, fairly amusing and sometimes unpredictable, 'Hope Springs' tells the tale of Colin (Colin Firth) an English artist who crosses the atlantic to the small Northern US town of Hope, to escape a failed relationship with his long-term ex, the manipulative Vera (Minnie Driver). Colin soon falls for the sweet, eccentric Mandy (Graham), and his unexpected romance seems to be slipping into happily ever after, until Vera turns up on Colin's doorstep. Mark Herman's direction and script (adapted from Charles Webb's likeable novel 'New Cardiff') keep the film's pace ticking along nicely, and there are a number of good twists and turns in the film, as Colin finds himself torn between the affections and intentions of the two women.
All three leads put in good, if unspectacular performances; the bitchy, yet feeling Vera portrayed by Driver being the best of the bunch. The film is also visually excellent, its cinematography sweeping wonderfully amongst the leafy trees and helps add an extra depth to some of the quieter intimate moments between Colin; both alone and with Mandy or Vera. 'Hope Springs' is not a groundbreaking or astounding film, but nor is it supposed to be. It possesses enough charm, a good enough script, and a handful of clever plot twists which stop it from getting too formulaic and one-dimensional. If gentle, neatly-observed comedy, with a good helping of romance is your thing, then 'Hope Springs' should be on your 'to see' list.