Hope Springs Mark Herman

Hope Springs Mark Herman
This movie really should be funny. And it really isn't. English artist Colin (Colin Firth) learns that his fiancée Vera (Minnie Driver) has left him when he receives an invitation to her wedding to someone called Roger. So, he does the only logical thing and travels all the way to sleepy Hope, Vermont, where the irritatingly quirky townsfolk soon take him under their wing. Then along comes Mandy (Heather Graham), a free-spirited "caregiver" who expresses joy by taking off all her clothes — again, this should be funny, or at least titillating, but it just isn't. Inevitably and rather joylessly, Mandy and Colin fall into bed, and Colin gets over Vera. And then of course, you guessed it, Vera shows up in town with shocking news: there was no wedding, there is no Roger; it was all a joke to prod Colin into getting around to marrying her. I'm sure you can see where this is going so I won't worry about spoiling the ending: Colin sees that Vera is a heartless bitch, while Mandy is a bundle of unaffected, naked joy and so they wind up together, leaving Vera to be mocked in a needlessly complicated plot twist about her Welsh ancestors, the town founders and something called the "cannon ball." So many things about this movie are dreadful: Graham, usually adorable, is nauseating; the townspeople really are unforgivably quirky; Colin's art is the stuff of a high school "art night"; Firth does his poor man's Hugh Grant bashful British thing. But worst of all, it just never manages to be funny. You really have to sympathise with Vera's frustration when nobody gets her "joke," since nobody has any sense of humour. In fact, Driver is the only funny thing in the movie, stomping around smoking and bitching, playing the admirable role of misfit in this screwball disaster. Plus: "making of" Hope Springs. (Touchstone/Buena Vista)
(Trifekta)