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Hope Springs

The problem every man dreams of... a choice.  

Year: 2003 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

British artist Colin Ware (Firth) has received a wedding invite from his fiancée inviting him to her marriage to another man. Understandably distraught, he runs away. Ware ends up in Hope, attracted by the name of this tiny Vermont town. Staying in a hotel run by the eccentric Joanie and her husband, Fisher, he suddenly finds himself on the receiving end of the affections of Mandy (Graham), a local nurse.  In a bizarre scene, she gets drunk, takes off her clothes and throws herself at him. Suddenly they’re going out together.

Out of his lovesick period, Colin hurls himself into drawing portraits of locals and arranging an exhibition. It’s a seemingly idyllic lifestyle until his exfiancée, Vera (Driver) turns up, explains the invitation was simply a joke to spur him into finally marrying her and says “I’m not going back until you agree to come back with me.”

Oh dear. As Joanie says to her daffy husband, “Even you must have noticed that Anglo- American relations are reaching an all-time high up there in room 11.” The physical Colin and Mandy are very much in love. Vera won’t take no for an answer though, and there the trouble starts.

It’s the romantic comedy staple that the path of true love will be interrupted by lies and misunderstandings. Sometimes you just want to scream at the screen as the loving couple fail to communicate and the romantic perfection collapses. The plot settles into a fairly entertaining three-way problem as the wonderfully bitchy Vera attempts to bully Colin, and anyone else she meets and is particularly annoyed by the fact she seems unable to have a cigarette in peace; it’s a running joke: “Sorry this is a non-smoking area.” “What, America?”).

There are no revelations here, and the tone of the film sits somewhere between stock US romantic comedy and the more wry UK equivalent, but it’s endearing and generally gentle.

Percival Tucker

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Autumn Term (35mm)