Hope Springs brings us the direct-to-video story of a U.K. artist (Colin Firth), who recently has been dumped by stuffy fiancee Minnie Driver. He jets to the U.S. to seek solace in the town of Hope, promptly finding the much different, free-spirited Heather Graham as his new muse. It's only a matter of time before Minnie's back in the picture... who will he end up with?
If you don't know the answer to this, you haven't seen many movies.
Predictability aside, Hope Springs is one hell of a bad movie. Firth's first date with Graham sees her downing half a bottle of liquor in the car en route to their date. She forces Firth to drive them back to his motel, then strips naked and jumps on the bed. Life is like that, I guess, but not in any proto-reality I'm familiar with. Firth is watchable, though he's playing the usual downtrodden Englishman we've seen in umpteen films to date, but the rest of the actors are fairly appalling. Ultimately it's the wholly unbelievable -- and frankly, impossible -- story that makes Hope Springs fail to work in virtually every scene. Not only do we not care who Firth ends up with, we don't really care if he ends up with anyone at all. By the end, I was hoping he'd drown in the springs.
Director Mark Herman (Little Voice) does as well as expected considering the source material (then again, he wrote the screenplay too), but frankly I'm starting to think he should have stayed a little closer to home.
Based on the novel New Cardiff.
The DVD includes a making-of featurette.
"Where's the plot?"
Run time: 100 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 8th August 2012
Box Office USA: $63.5M
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Production compaines: Management 360, Escape Artists, Mandate Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 119 Rotten: 41
IMDB: 6.3 / 10
Director: Mark Herman
Screenwriter: Mark Herman
Starring: Meryl Streep as Kay, Steve Carell as Dr. Bernie Feld, Tommy Lee Jones as Arnold Soames, Jean Smart as Eileen, Kay's Friend, Marin Ireland as Molly, Their Daughter, Ben Rappaport as Brad, Their Son, Susan Misner as Dana, Doctor Feld's Wife, Danny Flaherty as Danny, The Bookstore Clerk, Patch Darragh as Mark, Their Son-in-Law, Anita Storr as Beach goer wedding scene, Lee Cunningham as Lee, The Unhappy Wife, John Franchi as Driver, Elisabeth Shue as Karen, The Bartender
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