Hope Springs Eternal isn’t the typical coming-of-age dramedy but the film manages to offer some learning lessons.
High school isn’t an easy time for anyone. Hope Gracin (Mia Rose Frampton) goes through her junior year of high school while battling cancer. This earns her the nickname of “cancer girl.” Faced with a terminal diagnosis, Hope can either be depressed about it or embrace it while being comfortable with her fate. She makes the “practical” choice.
She gets through her situation with Sarah Handleman (Juliette Angelo), her best friend and fellow cancer patient of five years, and her other best friend who is super mature for his age, Seth Grass (Stony Blyden). Along with her mother, Dolores (Beth Lacke), they form the core of her support team.
Dying of cancer has provided a lot of opportunity for Hope. While she loves the attention, she’s not the type who likes to take advantage of it. Or so we think. She’s a popular girl in school and scores an Australian boyfriend thanks to her Make-A-Wish trip. Once Hope shockingly–the look in Hope’s face captures her reaction perfectly well–learns that she’s in remission, she has a choice to make. She can tell everyone the truth or lie to stay popular. She chooses the latter but eventually, the truth is bound to come out. It’s only a matter of time!
Hope goes from accepting that her fate is doomed to learning how to live for the sake of living. When the truth finally comes out, everything changes for Hope. After quickly becoming friends when she was dying, Zoe (Lauren Giraldo) turns her back when she learns that Hope will live. Her Australian boyfriend, Kai (Beau Brooks), is angry because he could have been spending time with his family.
All of the Cimorelli sisters appear in minor roles as classmates of Hope. It’s the first feature film for the sisters, who sing during Zoe’s Cupcake Party. The band also contributes another song in the form of a music video that plays during the credits.
There’s kind of an Eighth Grade vibe going for Hope Springs Eternal with Hope’s video diaries. This is where the comparisons seem to end. Stephanie Mickus’s script has enough flavor to stand apart from 50/50, Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, and The Fault In Our Stars.
Hope Springs Eternal offers just enough humor in a film that tackles such a serious topic in a coming-of-age film.
DIRECTOR: Jack C. Newell
SCREENWRITER: Stephanie Mickus
CAST: Mia Rose Frampton, Stony Blyden, Juliette Angelo, Beau Brooks, Lauren Giraldo, Kate Rachesky, Lisa Cimorelli, Amy Cimorelli, Dani Cimorelli, Christina Cimorelli, Katherine Cimorelli, Lauren Cimorelli, Tim Kazurinsky, Kara Zediker, LaRoyce Hawkins, with Pej Vahdat and Beth Lacke