Hope Springs
2004
Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness leads you to places you least expect. That's the premise behind this romantic comedy starring Colin Firth as a British artist who heads for America when his girlfriend (Minnie Driver) marries another man.

Scott Hardie: “It sucked.”

This film apparently has two screenplays. One provides the dialogue; it is witty, funny, and unpredictable. As expected from a Charles Webb novel, it understands its characters very well. The other screenplay provides the plot; it is contrived, ridiculous, and aggravating. Like a teenager taking a lover for the first time, it rushes to get to every base, instead of slowing to enjoy the pleasures along the way. The dialogue can be rather charming when the plot stops sprinting long enough to take a breather, but as you can guess from my star rating, that doesn't happen nearly often enough.

What else need I say? It stars Heather Graham. Granted, she is given an unbelieveable character to play, but it's little surprise she's no good. The other actors at least manage to appear to be slumming it, while Graham strains to play her vacuous bimbo, never realizing she need not act at all to achieve the effect. I would say that she ruins the film, but I cannot imagine it being much better if the entire cast had talent instead of just most of them.

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