When Charles Webb wrote “The Graduate” in 1963, the best-selling novel put Webb on the literary map as author of one of the most telling tales of the 1960s. The book was quickly turned into the Oscar-winning movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Ann Bancroft, and Katharine Ross. But, that was the last anyone really heard from Webb for many many years. Reading his Wikipedia entry (with a grain of salt, natch) reveals a man seemingly befuddled by fame and more interested in the pursuit of Art (note the capital A) and Idealism (he declined his inheritance from his father) than the trappings of success. After a twenty year hiatus from writing, Webb drafted “New Cardiff,” which was turned into the film “Hope Springs” in 2003.
“Hope Springs” is a romantic comedy, directed by Mark Herman (Brassed Off), who also adapted Webb’s novel for the screen. The film stars Colin Firth as a British artist who was dumped by his fiancée (Minnie Driver) and flees to a Vermont hotel run by Joanie Fisher (Mary Steenburgen). Like many a Newhart episode, when the innkeeper becomes aware of Colin’s broken heart, she decides to set him up with a local woman (Heather Graham). But love is never easy and, of course, the fiancee pops back into the picture wanting to rekindle their relationship. Did we mention that the always delightful Oliver Platt heads up the supporting cast? Tune in at 5 p.m. ET for a peek into the recent world of Charles Webb.
“Hope Springs” airs on IFC at 5:00 p.m. ET; Wednesday, Apr. 13 at 6:15 p.m. ET; and Thursday, Apr. 14 at 3:45 a.m. ET