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Underated And Amusing, Not Hopeless And Dire
on 11 December 2003
When 'Hope Springs' came out at the cinema it was given pretty harsh reviews. Critics claimed the film was a dire rehash of other romantic comedies with leads that were obviously second choices for their parts. I'd like to dispute this.
The setup is as follows. Colin Firth plays a man trying to escape from his past and his feelings for his old girlfriend Minnie Driver. He comes to the small town of Hope in America and without even trying falls into a relationship with Heather Graham.
He discovers the people in the town are taking to this eccentric Englishman and becomes involved in their plans and schemes for the future. Even though he's running away from life he finds himself embracing the place and trying to make his relationship with the eccentric Miss Graham work.
The last thing he needs then is the return of his ex, who has her own motives in wanting to win him back.
What really makes this film work are the supurb performances. In the lead roles the three performers all excell. Colin Firth displays all the charm he brought to the screen in 'Love Actually' and 'What A Girl Wants', Heather Graham is as kooky and stunning as she was in 'The Spy Who Shagged Me' and 'Boogie Nights' and Minnie Driver shows the same excellent comic timing that she had in 'An Ideal Husband' and 'Good Will Hunting'.
Add to this the support of such scene stealers as Oliver Pratt and Mary Steenburgen and you have a romantic comedy that can't fail to charm fans of the genre.
It will bring a smile to your face and put hope in your heart.