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  • For a romantic comedy, this movie isn't very romantic. And it also isn't terribly funny...

    However, there's a certain endearing charm about it. This movie is more 'small town' romantic than 'hollywood' romantic. While there are elements that could have used a bit of work (A LOT of work if you ask many posters here), you're not left unfulfilled at the end of this film.

    All I'm saying is: If you happen to be renting movies for a quiet night in with your significant other, make this a THIRD movie pick if you got the time.

    It's kinda like a toddler drawing a mural on your wall in crayon... a bit of a mess, but in the end, it's still pretty cute. 7 out of 10
  • Colin Ware (Colin Firth) finds that his fiancé, Vera (Minnie Driver) is going to marry someone else. Distraught by the news he goes to the tiny town of hope in New England, where he meets a beautiful young nurse called Mandy (Heather Graham) and both their lives begin to get better. That is until Vera re-emerges with a little surprise for Colin.

    There are better romantic comedies than this one, it's a little bit generic and struggles to do anything fresh or truly hilarious, but it was enjoyable and it certainly wasn't without its charm.

    Firth, Graham and Driver all deliver fairly typical performances, playing character types that they have portrayed before; and the direction is perfectly OK for a film of this type, all in all its a decent film that is mildly amusing, entertaining and heartwarming enough.

    6/10
  • laynagirl21 August 2004
    I read through many of the comments on this movie and decided that I had to see what all the fuss was about. I rented it expecting to hate it as much as everyone else seems to, but found just the opposite. These days, it's rare to find a movie that really makes me laugh, but I found myself actually laughing out loud throughout most of this one. I agree that the scene with Heather Graham bouncing around in her underwear was indeed absolutely ridiculous... but it was still funny! I have yet to see Colin Firth in anything that I didn't absolutely love, and this was no exception. I think it's wonderful that an actor of his caliber doesn't take himself too seriously, and still goes for the fun stuff once in a while. Making a quick buck, you say? If so, what's wrong with that? It's entertainment! I think the problem is that too many people these days expect every film to be a work of art, and have forgotten that the very idea behind making movies is to entertain us. I believe that this film was meant to be pure and simple fun, and it pulled it off beautifully. As far as comedies go, I give this one at least 9/10!
  • The movie perhaps wasn't all that brilliant, but it wasn't all that bad after all...

    It was actually fun.

    Fun to see Collin Firth making fun of himself, also Oliver Platt being pathetic as the head of the city of Hope...

    The chemistry was there. The script wasn't just superb, but the actors make it up to you.

    It's a change from the Briget Jones's Diary, where Firth has to compete with Grant to get a girl. The girls are competing with each other to get him for a change.

    I've enjoyed it. So has my wife.

    Good to watch on DVD on a late evening. It'll cheer you up.
  • ddeciao1 September 2005
    Hope Springs had lots of comedy. I laughed a lot during the movie. The character playing 'Fisher' was hilarious. Colin Firth is gorgeous as ever and funny. Minnie Driver's character 'Vera' drove me nuts! Heather Graham's character 'Mandy' was silly and funny too. I laughed when 'Fisher' stopped traffic so 'Colin' who was carrying 'Mandy' could cross the street safely. Everybody in the movie had funny lines. I discovered this movie in early 2005. I think the movie is a gem and it surely beats all that gun and gang warfare movies with shootouts and death, etc. every 5 minutes for so-called action. I never rely on what others tell me is a good or bad movie for we all have opinions and differing viewpoints.
  • I can't believe that some of the comments in here say it's the worst film ever. It's a cute, amusing little number which has some very funny lines in it (none of which appear in IMDb "memorable quotes" - which they *should*).

    My only complaint is that Colin Firth appears to have forgotten to act. Minnie Driver is her usual sparkling evil self, and Heather Graham is her usual naked chicklet self. What more could you people want?

    Incidentally, I saw "Love Actually" earlier in the same day, and preferred "Hope Springs".

    Well - *I* liked it. 7/10 for pure entertainment value.
  • I finally saw the film!! It was a delightful subtle piece of filmmaking. The movie is based on the book(New Cardiff) by author Charles Webb, of "The Graduate" fame. Mark Hermann, doing double duty as screenwriter and director, does an adequate job of translating the book to film.

    Colin Firth is on the money as Colin Ware, a jilted artist who comes to America to forget his romantic troubles. He jumps out of the fire and into the frying pan, so to speak. By virtue of the hotel manager, he finds a new romantic interest in Heather Graham who plays Mandy, a 'caregiver' by trade. He gets acquainted with this quirky little town whether he wants to or not.

    He starts to do portraits of the townsfolk. I found these portrait scenes to be quite entertaining. All is well until now ex-fiancee Vera reappears on the scene in Hope. There is good caustic interplay between Mandy and Vera in their fight over the same man.

    Good performances from great ensemble cast made of up Oliver Platt, the Mayor of Hope, Mary Steenburgen as oh-so-tacky matchmaking Hotel manager and Frank Collison as her eccentric husband.

    If you are looking for something more subtle than this summer's blockbuster fare, try this delightful little gem of a film! You won't be disappointed.

    P.S. For Colin fans out there, he looks gorgeous! I can't wait for the DVD to appreciate him in all his glory.

    Michele
  • wpw-26 October 2010
    This is a charming movie. It is in places very funny. Minnie Driver, as always, is excellent, a joy to watch. Colin Firth does his agreeable Colin Firth impersonation and the American girl is fluffy and sweet. I loved Mary Steenburgen doing a vulgar part and Oliver Platt always adds vim. I rather think this is a movie for bookish people with a night off, but there aren't enough of those about. It doesn't fill the screen quite, but it is certainly a feature rather than a TV movie. I like the Anglo-American tint to it: there seem to be no glaring cultural gaffes. We even get Marks and Spencers mentioned. Intelligent, engaging and funny. 7 out of 10 because only God gets 10 and only The Third Man and Casablanca get 9.
  • British artist, broken-hearted over the dissolution of his engagement to a brash Welsh sexpot, comes to America to relieve his sorrows; he picks the city of Hope ("18,459 people live in Hope") to begin a series of charcoal sketches on the locals, and naturally meets a new girl anxious to help him get over his lost love. Writer-director Mark Herman, adapting his script from the novel "New Cardiff" by Charles Webb (author of "The Graduate"), begins his film with a few "Graduate"-styled visual touches which are quite clever (see if you can find them). His use of soundtrack music is a bit jarring, and the editing seems flagrantly sloppy in the movie's early stages, but these faults are quickly corrected as the characters take shape. In the lead, Colin Firth works his scruffy adorableness to wonderful advantage; with his slightly crooked mouth and low-keyed impatience, he's amusingly antsy and befuddled. The ladies in his life (Heather Graham and Minnie Driver) compliment Firth nicely, while the screwballs who dot the supporting cast are enjoyable without being overtly colorful. We've been down this road before (boy-loses-girl, boy-meets-new-girl, first-girl-comes-back), and a story thread involving a faked family tree doesn't quite come to fruition, but the rest of "Hope Springs" is daffy, frisky, and often funny. *** from ****
  • Okay, this is not the best movie ever made--even Colin Firth could not make it into a blockbuster hit. Nonetheless, it is quirky, fun and funny movie that is worth renting.

    I read the book, New Cardiff, before seeing the movie and I have to admit, the movie captured the spirit of the book very well. Every character in the book came to life on the big screen through the cast. I loved Firth's portrayal of Colin, the artist, and his little dance in the movie. Minnie Driver's character was the most awful and annoying person ever and she does a great job of bring that to life. It is funny and, like I mentioned before, very quirky. Sure, the ending is not the most realistic but that was how the book went. I actually recommend reading the book before seeing the movie. It prepares you well for what the movie is about, just in case you had high hopes for it being an obviously fabulous movie. Instead, you will learn to like it, for all of its eccentricity.
  • =G=8 April 2004
    "Hope Springs" is a romcom about a forlorn and jilted English artist (Firth) who travels to a rural New England community where he falls for a babe (Graham) only to find his ex-girlfriend from the UK (Driver) is hot on the trail of reconciliation. The result is a flat, insipid, silly tale of a man caught between two women which fails at delivering quality in either romance or comedy and creates characters who aren't even very likeable. The film has its moments though they're few and far between, good production value, and the camera is in focus throughout. Beyond that there's little good which can be said of this very ordinary film which grows annoying as time wears on and will work best, if at all, for fans of the players, romcom junkies, and sentimentalists. (C)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    SPOILERS THROUGH:

    Hope Springs is a sweet, pretty movie, both a romance and a comedy and it takes place in New England. The movie's strongest points are the vivid beautifully photographed country scenes. The photography is vibrant and the movie is visually lovely throughout. Also a plus was the casting of Heather Graham as the down to earth Mandy. Graham sparkled as brightly as the many hills and trees seen throughout. Mandy is likable from the beginning and we want her to end up with Firth.

    But the biggest problem with the movie as a whole is the lack of energy. Firth and Graham don't have a whole lot of chemistry and while there is an occasional funny line, the movie's not consistently funny enough as a whole, to be a serious comedy. Neither is it romantic enough to be a serious romance. It's definitely pretty and picturesque but there is something curiously flat about the movie as a whole.

    I had heard this was originally a book and the funny thing is, I could really see this being a very fun and enjoyable book. But the story as a movie just didn't work as well as it could have. It wasn't as funny as it should have been. The wit that should have been there in the bantery back and forth scenes between various characters was not, for the most part, present and Minnie Driver's character just really got on my nerves. This movie is watchable but really not all that great and I'd rate it about average.
  • RedRoadster1 December 2008
    My girlfriend has this movie on Video and has hammered on at me to see it for some time. Last weekend I finally watched the shambles that is "Hope Springs." The Plot is fairly straight forward, English artist (Colin Firth) has his heart broken by his fiancée so goes to a small American town in the middle of no where to get over his pain. Once there he meets a care nurse of sorts (Heather Graham) and they begin to have feelings for one another. Then.... the ex turns up (Minnie Driver) and the "fireworks" begin.

    To echo previous reviews, I think this film fails on every level. The story is so achingly simple that with the right actors and a sharp, witty script this could have been a hidden gem. However, it just plays like a movie that should have been shelved by the studio. Its that bad.

    Colin Firth seems to still be "dining out" on the fact that he made an impression in the publics mind as Mr Darcy in the BBC version of Pride and prejudice in 1995. He keeps playing the same half arse bumbling Brit no matter what role he appears in. The audience is supposed to believe that Minnie Driver and Heather Graham are desperate to snag this man. Ridiculous. The afore mentioned ladies do a reasonable job with what they're given, Driver coming across as smolderingly sexy in a few scenes which stands out amongst the other very average performances.

    Mary Steenburgen and Oliver Platt are absolutely wasted in their supporting roles which is criminal given that they would both have been capable of saving this mess with more to do. The editing is poor, certain plot points are introduced and left dangling without resolution and the continuity is puzzling. The events that unfold feel so stage managed and preposterous that you'll be left shaking your head in disbelief.

    I wish I could find something positive to say about this film, but how can you praise a "romantic comedy" that neither tugs at your heart strings nor inspires laughter.
  • This really could be the worst movie I've ever seen. I went expecting nothing more than Heather Graham in her undies, and although that expectation was happily fulfilled, the emotional trauma I had to suffer during the rest of the picture outweighed the brief (ha) thrill that brought. This film fails on almost *every* level. The script is a ham-fisted, deeply derivative and appallingly unfunny hack job that seems to have been scribbled down hastily in point form on the back of a cigarette packet and then fed into a computer database of dire rom-coms in order to generate the necessary scenes. It's deeply offensive, to men, to women, to all of us as citizens of planet earth. It insults our intelligence by asking us to believe the most childish and it's also very badly shot, strange for a modern Hollywood film, where at least a degree of professionalism extends (usually) to the visuals. Hope Springs (a more agonisingly twee title (yes, the film takes place in a place called Hope Springs and is about a man whose hope... springs...) is unlikely to emerge all year, all decade) seems to have been shot in half-light, and the characters are often placed weirdly within the frame, isolating them from the emotional current of the visual narrative and making them appear to be lost and forlorn characters in some dystopian 70s thriller. NOT the kind of imagery one would expect in a rom-com!

    The editing is also atrocious. Scenes are hacked together, strange non-sequiturs abound and plot points are left hanging uselessly, unresolved. But the true vitriol MUST be reserved for the script, which is the most trite, hackneyed, insultingly puerile and shamelessly contrived assembly of cliches yet penned by man. I shudder to think back to some of the atrocities committed onscreen, but no, no, I will not name them... Every time the pace flags (every 20 seconds or so) a new, equally vapid hi-energy rock track is blasted through the speakers, desparately trying to bring some energy to the lacklustre proceedings. How humiliating for the actors to have to engage in this nonsense. What absolute ****.

    It's sad, then, to report that the actors in this tragedy are entirely blameless. Firth does his best to bring some amusing British understatement to procedings, Graham is always never less than appealing (even if her penchant for girl/women - this one loves butterflies and her bedroom could be that of an 8-year old - is beginning to wear a bit thin) and Driver preens and minces successfully enough. There's even the excellent comedienne Mary Steenburgen and underused Oliver Platt on hand to help carry out the bodies. But their efforts are wasted...

    Half-way through the movie, Heather's exposure sadly over, and the number of painfully unfunny scenes accumulating fast, I resolved to leave the theatre in disgust. I found myself unable to move. What!? In that point of my awareness from which motive force usually sprang, there was only a gaping void. The movie's awfulness had eroded my will to live. I struggled, trying to force myself onto the floor so I least would not have to witness the rest of the horror! But it was no good. The lifeforce had been sapped from me, and I had to endure the nightmare to the end.

    How strange and cruel life is, to have allowed this film to be released and seen by innocents...
  • bluzz2 February 2004
    In hindsight this was one of my top 5 films of 2003. It was very, very funny, well acted, but seems to be an undiscovered treasure. Heather Graham has never looked so attractive and Colin Firth has never been better. Go and rent it soon.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It came as part of a 3 pack of movies and it had Colin Firth in it so I thought I would give it a try. It was ridiculous....a total waste of film.

    Colin is an English artist and has come to America because his ex-fiancé says she has run off with someone else. Apparently, he is invited to the wedding or something but he never goes there.

    He immediately meets Heather Graham's character and on the first "date" she gets drunk and they have sex....so they are having sex....there's not much else to their relationship....and Minnie Driver (the ex-fiancé) shows up and says that she was just kidding about getting married to someone else...she just wanted Colin to get jealous and finally marry her. Apparently they have been together for years. So Minnie Driver's character is supposed to be this total bitch which makes you wonder why she and Colin were together in the first place.

    The main characters are shallow. They are not very likable. Colin has strung Minnie's character along for years. He sleeps with Heather Graham and they eventually become engaged but you really don't see much chemistry between them. Minnie's character stays around and bugs the couple even after it obvious that she and Colin have nothing left....kind of pathetic. The story is boring. The best character is the mayor. The hotel owners are also more interesting than the main characters.
  • (warning: mild spoilers)

    take a simple but cute idea, the desperate guy abandoned by his fiancée, flies from the UK to the US (supposed to be Maine, but actually filmed in British Columbia), chooses his destination because the town is called "Hope", and on day two meets the cutest sweetest girl in the whole region, but also with a wild fun side so you don't get bored.

    add some pretty solid names in acting: Colin Firth (sure he was less famous then), Minnie Driver. Add a cute blonde who can act namely Heather Graham. In the "supporting" roles put actors of such caliber that they can do much better than just "support": Mary Steenburgen, Frank Collison, and of course Oliver Platt (who was nicely leaner back then).

    so, in theory, you could have done something bordering on the very good, cute, touching, powerful, and so on.

    but, unfortunately, the script lacks power, the direction lacks power, the whole plot logic could have been made both better and denser.

    so at the end of the day, we're left with a film which is fine to watch on a lazy evening with the wife, and has its cute moments - but could have been seriously better. Maybe it was too ambitious, too big budget a film, to good a crew of actors, for director Mark Hermann. Too bad.
  • fatehsmann3 December 2010
    Okay, before I go on I must confess, the movie doesn't deserve a 7 star rating. Maximum I would have given it is a 6.5. But then I saw it's IMDb rating, and I thought hey, the movie isn't that bad. And I kind of wanted to raise it's rating a little bit.

    And it isn't. Yes, the plot isn't terribly original. Yes, the romance doesn't melt your heart. Yes, the comedy doesn't make you roll on the floor laughing. But it does make your smile. The little game that Heather Graham and Colin Firth play, beating about the bush is cute and the chemistry between them is pretty good. The plot is pretty predictable but Heather's portrayal of the vivacious and bubbly Mandy does liven it up. In the end, it's not a terrible waste of time. You won't regret having seen it.
  • This film is about an English artist who goes to Hope in America to forget his sorrow after discovering that his fiancée is about to marry someone else.

    "Hope Springs" is a light-hearted, bubbly, energetic and fun comedy. The story is vibrantly fun and engaging. It successfully balances between the typically English polite long-winded dialog and vibrant fun. These polar opposites clash together and create great chemistry. The main characters, Mandy and Colin are likable and sweet, which is essential in an enjoyable romantic comedy. I enjoyed watching "Hope Springs" a lot, I think it deserved to be a commercial success.
  • Colin Ware (Colin Firth), a Brit, decides to jet off to the town of Hope in New England. This is because his fiancé (Minnie Driver) sent him an invitation to her wedding ceremony with another man! Colin, an artist, is the talk of the local residents, where newcomers are few and far between. Mistaking jet lag for a more serious mental condition, his new landlord (Mary Steenbergen) arranges for him to meet Mandy (Heather Graham), a nursing home employee with a penchant for helping others reduce their stress level. Mandy, a total free spirit, drinks a bit too much at one of their first meetings and ends up spending the night with Colin. Talk about what the doctor ordered! This is just the distraction that Colin needs. But, is their budding relationship merely a blip on the radar of life? What an absolute joy this film is! It's funny, its sweet and its clever. Firth is outstanding as the stuffy Brit who learns to let loose in his new surroundings, giving one of his best performances ever. Graham, too, is charming as the small city girl with brains and a big, big heart. Driver, no surprise, is also fine as the lady who just may be realizing what she lost. The rest of the cast is equally nice. As for the New England setting in the fall, it is beyond lovely and adds mightily to the film's enjoyment, as do the great costumes and production values. All romantic comedy fans, spring out of your seat this minute, if you have never seen this film, and run straight to the video store or library. It is made-to-order for YOU. But, even if you are not a romcom nut, you will still like this very funny, very touching film. It has charms to sooth the savage beast, that is for sure.
  • jon-96414 January 2006
    I bought the film in DVD on reading comments here and on Amazon. Enjoyed it really quite a lot, one Saturday morning enduring a typically British cold/'flu and not at all keen to go out. Colin F was pretty much rehearsing the character he played in Love Actually, which was fine by me. Heather Graham was a complete revelation and moved on my personal list from "who's she?" to "must see". There is something about that woman! The scenery was fantastic, much as I remembered from the same rough area when I was there 15yr ago. You aren't really supposed to notice good lighting, of course, but as an old stage hand, my eyes are usually a bit jaundiced. But here you would never once have believed there was a single frame taken in a proper studio. It just flowed...

    The whole film (to quote a certain sporting biog) kind-of-clicked. Watch it to lose 90 mins completely painlessly.
  • The movie wasn't that great, and was kind of corny at times. But my God, Colin Firth is the sexiest man alive! It was worth sitting through and hour and a half of ridiculousness to see him half naked. On a more serious note, the movie did have some rather funny parts, especially the scenes with the owners of Firth's hotel. As for the romance, it wasn't one of those really evolving "oh man, i wish i had a love like that," but it was sweet. Colin Firth definitely steals the movie, showing another side to his skills as an actor. There is just something about him that sucks the audience in like a vacuum. Such charisma. It was really nice to see a bit of his funnier side for a change. He really is quite funny, and I move for him to do more comedies. Wow, these comments have to be ten lines long, but I really don't have much else to say about this movie. Perhaps I could ramble on a bit longer, but I really am tired about reviewing this movie. And actually am regretting it a bit now.
  • The movie runs an age-old premise but, what the heck, it is well acted and we loved the British humour and British influence. Had to 'laugh out loud' in several places ... and I hope Americans can pick up some of the nuances. Some adult content but generally a good, clean, but not-for-young-kids, movie. Don't believe I've seen Colin Firth in any other movie but will certainly look for him again. I recognized another couple of faces from the TV ... No violence, no bad language .. what a nice change! I heartily recommend this movie if you want to be entertained without having to think about the plot or wonder who's doing what to who!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *!!Warning! Spoilers!!*

    I can understand that some people don't like this movie. Maybe they are likely to take everything too seriously. This movie is full of stereotypes. Yes, and this can be quite annoying when it's without irony and the necessary tongue in cheek.

    But in this movie it's done brilliantly! Nobody takes him- or herself too seriously. This is a romantic, funny feel-good-movie. It doesn't claim to be educational. It's aim is to be entertaining. And the brilliant cast and crew achieve this aim 100%!

    Is it true to the book? By all means! Is it even more funny than the book? Oh, yessssss!!!

    The movie has the timing which the book really hasn't. The book is almost completely written in dialogue which is sometimes tiresome.

    I cannot imagine anything more funny than Colin Firth with his trousers around his ankles (and no underwear) contemplating about the innocent kind of joy and the other one..... (and then finally hopping to the bed just in case they would decide to go for the "non-innocent kind"....).

    If you expect high quality discussions, profound and accurate insights into British and American culture, well, then you must be disappointed.

    In this movie every cliché is built up to the extreme, in a most funny way.

    Maybe also as a parody on all the prejudices we hide deep inside. Sometimes such extreme caricatures are in fact more effective and educational than any scientific report. And when you are able to laugh at the characters you don't have to feel that anybody's pointing the finger at you.

    I for my part enjoyed myself a lot! I loved the performances of everybody, especially of Colin Firth (O.k., I always love him!) and Mary Steenburgen.

    When I feel depressed this is the movie I choose to cheer me up!
  • This movie was far from exceeding expectations, but then I might have expected a bit too much of it, purely due to Colin Firth. His character was as almost all his characters are, just a lot more lost than usual. None of the main characters, except maybe for Mary Steenburgen's, really knew what or who they were. The plot was rather idiotic, really (no one takes their clothes off in front of a stranger just because they feel so happy), but when a bunch of British/American stereotype jokes and a bucket full of clichés were added, enough to make a somehow cute story. Not gripping or remarkable, but cute. I think it was the childishness that appealed to me. And somehow in this era of epic movies its comforting to know that they still make these small simple movies.
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