Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Hope Springs

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

There are two films called Hope Springs one from 2003 and another completely different in 2012 and this is about the first one it stars Colin Firth and Minnie Driver. So make sure your watching the right one because the other one is okay but this one is more than okay.

Colin plays an artist from the UK who goes to the US Hope Springs a town in Vermont because hes split up with his girlfriend Vera and hes very upset. He checks into this small hotel type thing run by an interesting couple Joanie (Mary Steenburgen) looking older woman sexy and her strange husband. They notice that this English guy isn’t himself funny expression aren’t it and how would they know they only just met the guy but they didn’t say it just me.

Anyways Joanie gets her friend Mandy (Heather Graham)  to come and see him she’s some kind of therapist but really she’s a sort of hippie new age bit of a loon depending on how you look at it. Likes jumping up and down naked to feel liberated or something you no the type or maybe you don’t my cousins like that people think she’s a slapper but she thinks shes a free spirit.

Mandy couldn’t be more different from Colin that’s his name in the film too he’s a typical Colin Firth guy quiet shy repressed. Mandy works at an old people’s home called Shining Shores and she and Colin get it on a bit and have one of those relationships that is fun but you know its not going to go nowhere but if you don’t push it it passes the time.

Then Vera turns up. That’s Minnie Driver and its one of the funniest performances I’ve ever seen. Just watch the bit in the middle where Vera’s driving past the old folks’ home and finds Mandy pushing an old lady in a wheelchair. It won’t sound funny if I write the dialogue (that’s the words they say technical term like) but she’s so bitchy it cracks me up and I keep having to watch it over and over again. She’s a spoilt, ultra well educated snob who thinks Mandy is beneath her and Colin she don’t really want Colin but she don’t want Mandy to have him either.

Bitching on the golf course: posh girl Minnie Driver bends Colin Firth’s ear

Okay try this bit: she looks at the sign for the home which says Shining Shores in swirly writing and pretends to misread it, she goes “Whining Whores”. I tell you it kills me I don’t need the rest of the film just that scene although there are plenty more good ones.

This film is based on a novel by the same man who wrote the novel The Graduate (so he must be knocking on a bit) and he does keep the plot rolling especially towards the end but of course I’m not going to tell you what happens. Colin Firth couldn’t be funny if he fell off a tall building wearing a santa hat but it don’t matter somehow. Like I say the Minnie Driver scenes in the middle are worth the price of admission on their own.


Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Grosse Pointe Blank

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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I’m calling this one a classic because in my humble opinion it’s got three great performances in it from John Cusack, Joan Cusack and Minnie Driver no make that five because there’s Alan Arkin and Dan Aykroyd as well. John had a lot to do with making the film not just acting in it but co-writing it with his mates Steve Pink and DV de Vincentis.

You can sort of tell it’s a bunch of mates that came up with it because it’s full of in-jokes and stuff and you have to concentrate and watch it a few times to get everything. Even the title is kind of smartarse it’s because his name is Martin Blank and he comes from a town called Grosse Point and he (John) gets invited to his 10-year high school reunion and he’s not keen to go because he’s a professional assassin and he can’t imagine himself shaking hands with all his old classmates and they say “I’m a dentist” and he says “I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork”. But his secretary thinks he should go cos she’s worried about him he’s not been himself lately she’s his sister really Joan Cusack and she plays the secretary as a bit weird maybe that’s Joan I don’t know.

He’s been seeing a psychiatrist Alan Arkin who also thinks he should go he says “Don’t kill anybody for a couple of days, see how it feels”. All these clever lines flying around but you’ve got to be quick or you’ll miss them.

There is a lot of competition in the professional killer world at the time and  Grocer (Dan Aykroyd) wants to set up a kind of union so they can control prices it’s because it’s just after the Berlin wall comes down and suddenly there are these East German killers flooding the market. Then coincidentally because it’s a film Martin gets a contract to kill someone in Grosse Point so he can do some work and go to the party so he goes there and his ex girlfriend Minnie Driver is a famous DJ on local radio there and he goes to see her and she gets him live on air to embarrass him he dumped her on prom night that’s a big thing in the States where the college kids get dressed up and go to a dance and it’s like their first adult occasion of course they’ve all been drinking and dancing and shagging in private but this is official.

So he asks her to go to the reunion dance with him and you can see she wants to they look like a natural couple both clever and funny and sexy you really could imagine them being together for real I could anyway I’m a romantic me.

It all gets a bit bloody and violent at the dance well downstairs in the school basement anyway there’s not just Grocer in town but this little killer too and their getting in each other’s way Martin and Grocer have this great scene in a deli where their both wary of each other and as well as the proper story lines they throw in funny stuff like arguing with the waitress about what a scrambled egg is. Same with the secretary earlier on she was just on the phone ordering ammunition or something from a dealer and complaining something hadn’t been delivered and next thing she’s talking to her friend about a recipe and she says you chop up carrots and celery to start and her friend thinks that sounds a bit bland and Joan goes ballistic and shouts “It’s just a f***ing base for the soup”.

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Guns under the table: Careful, pal. I don’t see hollow-nose wound care on the menu

Some good music too if you like 70s and 80s stuff it was chosen by Joe Strummer the singer from The Clash a bit of reggae or ska I think they call it and a Clash song and other spiky rock punk stuff.

Like I say it takes a bit of following and I even think they could of made a more serious film with the same script but done slower and not so smartarse but it’s great anyway try it you’ll like it.