Hope Floats (1998)
Justin Matisse: Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me.
Bernice Pruitt: My dad says that childhood is the happiest time of my life. But, I think he's wrong. I think my mom's right. She says that...
[Bernice's voice fades as Birdee takes over]
Birdee Pruitt: [laughing] Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That's what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too...
Bernice Pruitt: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would to scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just picked up a club and killed it.
Justin Matisse: Now that's a sad story.
Bernice Pruitt: If you liked the skunk, which we didn't.
Birdee Pruitt: Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome.
Birdee Pruitt: You just never liked Bill.
Ramona Calvert: Oh, I like all of God's creatures; I just like some of them better stuffed. And he's one of them.
Ramona Calvert: Mothers always love their daughters, even if they show it poorly.
Bernice Pruitt: Mom, are you gonna marry Justin Matisse?
Birdee Pruitt: Oh, honey, I'm not planning on getting married again for along time. What, you don't like Justin?
Bernice Pruitt: No, it's not that. It's just that...
Birdee Pruitt: What is it? You can tell me.
Bernice Pruitt: I just don't want to be known as Bernice Matisse!
Birdee Pruitt: Naked pictures?
Mr. Davis: Oh, we never comment on them, ah, we just hand them over as if we haven't seen a thing.
Birdee Pruitt: I understand, Mr. Davis...
Mr. Davis: But first we make a copy. Now, we put them in the second draw under the counter.
Birdee Pruitt: Oh...
Mr. Davis: And you can have a look anytime you want. Just don't take any of 'em home.
Birdee Pruitt: Oh, alright.
Justin Matisse: Why don't you go down and get dressed? You gotta feel depressed looking like that.
Justin Matisse: You look terrible! You been drinking?
Birdee Pruitt: Why does everybody keep asking me if I've been drinking? What? Is there like a coaster stuck to my... butt or something?
Bernice Pruitt: Is this where you were "cream of corn"?
Birdee Pruitt: "Queen of Corn," honey. Three years runnin'. A feat unsurpassed in the history of Smithville.
Ramona Calvert: Hey, I am still your mama, Missy. You move it!
Birdee Pruitt: Once upon a time your mama knew what it meant to shine.
Birdee Pruitt: People fall in love. They fall right back out. It happens all the time.
Ramona Calvert: Look at me. My life has no meaning or direction, and I'm happy.
Birdee Pruitt: Who's Big Dolores?
Travis: She's the meanest and dumbest girl in school, but she keeps passing 'cause even teachers are afraid of big Dolores. She has her own gang too. It's called: Big Dolores.
Bernice Pruitt: Please don't have a talk with her mother. I'd rather die.
Travis: Don't worry. You will.
Birdee Pruitt: [Travis growls in his act as a dog when ordered to go to breakfast] Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs bad little dogs.
Birdee Pruitt: I would walk through fire before I would break up a family, because I'm not a quitter.
Bernice Pruitt: [Bernice and Birdee are in Bernice's room after Bill has left... Bernice is on her bed and has finished crying] Why did you pretend that letter was from Daddy?
Birdee Pruitt: What an imagination you have.
[climbs onto Bernice's bed and lays by her side]
Birdee Pruitt: You know, I always thought I was gonna be, I don't know, special. But I'm not. I'm just... I'm just an ordinary person. And that's OK. Because... you make me special. Don't you know that? Don't you know that you're everything in this world to me? And we're gonna make it through this because we are a team. Birdee and Bernice, the coolest chicks in Smithville. So don't you ever think about leaving me again... because I need you. I love you.
Bernice Pruitt: [quietly] I love you too.
Birdee Pruitt: Good.
Mr. Davis: Uh, anything interesting come in while I was at lunch?
Birdee Pruitt: No, sir.
Mr. Davis: [walks to the photo processer, grabs a handful of ruined pictures] Oh, oh, no! Look at these!
[hands them to her]
Mr. Davis: Birdee?
Birdee Pruitt: No, what is wrong with this stupid machine?
[going through the pictures]
Birdee Pruitt: God I'm telling you, I...
[she cuts off as she comes across the one picture that made it: one of Justin standing outside by his truck, holding flowers. Birdee looks out the window and sees Justin in the same pose. She smiles and walks outside, knowing that her mother is somehow responsible. V.O]
Birdee Pruitt: Okay, Mama. Stop pushin'.
[Justin hands Birdee the flowers. They hug, Justin scoops her up into his arms and puts her in the truck. As Birdee sits up, Justin runs to the drivers side and they leave together]
Bill Pruitt: [Bill is leaving the Calvert house, Bernice is following him with her bag... he takes her wrist] Bernice, what do you think you're doing?
Bernice Pruitt: I'm going with you.
Bill Pruitt: Honey, that's impossible.
Bernice Pruitt: But I'm going with you.
Bill Pruitt: No, you've got to stay here with your mama. Birdee, you gonna help me out here?
[Birdee is silent]
Bernice Pruitt: You told me you wanted me with you, remember?
Bill Pruitt: Listen, honey. I've gotta go. Now don't do this to yourself, OK? Don't make a scene. Now go on back inside, go ahead.
[Bernice defiantly follows him to his car, where he opens the trunk. She throws his bag in with his, he takes hers out and puts in on the ground]
Bernice Pruitt: Stop it, daddy!
Bill Pruitt: Bernice, you know I'd take you with me if I could.
Bernice Pruitt: You can!
Bill Pruitt: Try to understand, baby. Connie and I, we need this time to ourselves, to try and make a go of it. Then I'll come back for you. I promise, I promise, I promise!
[Birdee looks on; fighting tears]
Bill Pruitt: Now go on inside, please!
Bernice Pruitt: You want me! You wrote it in your letter!
Bernice Pruitt: Please, let me in! YOU WANT ME!
Bill Pruitt: [tearfully] I'll always want you, Bernice. You're my little princess! But your mama, she needs you... and you need her!
Bernice Pruitt: [wailing] No I don't! I need you!
Bill Pruitt: I love you, Princess... I gotta go!
[blows horn and drives off]
Bernice Pruitt: NO! NOOOO! DADDY! PLEASE COME BACK! TAKE ME WITH YOU! NOOO! DADDY!
[Bernice is sobbing hysterically by this time, Birdee picks her up and carries her into the house]
Bernice Pruitt: I WANT MY DADDY!
Birdee Pruitt: Who's the architect?
Justin Matisse: You're kiddin', huh?... That's half the fun.
Birdee Pruitt: You go around Smithville paintin' houses, and you can do this?
Justin Matisse: Yeah.
Birdee Pruitt: You could... you could do so much more.
Justin Matisse: I guess so, huh?
Birdee Pruitt: You know what I meant.
Justin Matisse: I know exactly what you meant. You're talkin' 'bout the American Dream. You find something that you love, and then you twist it, and you torture it, try and find a way to make money at it. You spend a lifetime doing that. At the end, you can't find a trace of what you started out lovin'. What did you start out lovin'?
Birdee Pruitt: [very softly] I don't remember.
Justin Matisse: For me it was doin' things right, that's all. That's why I came back here; so I could live the way I wanted. I don't know, I figured out of everybody, you'd understand that.
Birdee Pruitt: I do. I envy you. Everything you love is right here.
Justin Matisse: Not everything, Birdee.
Birdee Pruitt: I would have stayed with you forever. I would have turned myself inside out for you.
Bill Pruitt: Birdee, I wouldn't have let you! People grow. They change. They have to!
Birdee Pruitt: You think that I don't know that? I know that I'm not what I once was. I know that! But I haven't changed so much, that I would go and lie to someone that I love. God, I would walk through fire before I'd let them feel like they were nothing! And I would never break up anybody's home. Because I am not a quitter. I care about my family! I may not be the same person, but then again, neither are you. You're sad, you're weak, and you're... shorter. If you want to know the truth.
Bill Pruitt: I'm in love with Connie. And this is my chance for a fresh start, and I'm taking it, I'm sorry!
Birdee Pruitt: Then you should take it. If that's how you feel then you should take it. You and Connie deserve each other. You were lucky to have me. But you know what? I think I already got the best part of you. And she's standing right out there, and she's waiting for me. I don't know... what's left just doesn't look so good anymore. So why'd you come back? You want my permission? You want my... condolences? Why did you come back?
Bill Pruitt: Well, I didn't want to do this to you now, Birdee, but I want a divorce.
Ramona Calvert: [of Travis in his frog costume] Look at me. My life has no meaning or direction, and I'm happy. Look at Kermit there. You think it's easy being green?
Ramona Calvert: You smell just delicious, Justin, you wearin' cologne?
Justin Matisse: Naw, just sweat with a little paint thinner mixed in.
Ramona Calvert: Boy, she had a face on her like a bucket of worms.
Ramona Calvert: You have a birthday coming up. You want to tell me what you wish for?
Bernice Pruitt: No.
Ramona Calvert: No? Well that's all right; I'll figure it out with my Grandma magic.
Birdee Pruitt: Mama wake up! Oh God, please don't do this.
Dot: You look... beautiful. Same old Birdee.
Birdee Pruitt: [beat] Same old Dot.
Dot: [laughs incredulously] You have no idea who I am, do you?
Birdee Pruitt: [beat] No. Ha, ha, sorry.
Dot: That's all right. When I knew you I was about seven inches shorter and 70 pounds heavier. We didn't exactly eat at the same lunch table.
Birdee Pruitt: Polka Dot?
Dot: [laughs nervously] Oh, goodness!
Birdee Pruitt: Is that right?
Dot: Yeah... Nobody's called me that in a long time.
Birdee Pruitt: You look fantastic!
Dot: [uncomfortable] Thank you.
Birdee Pruitt: It's remarkable!
Dot: Was I really so awful before, Birdee?
Dot: Oh, no-no-no, I just meant...
Dot: I know what you meant. People change as they get older, we improve.
Dot: Gosh, you look exactly the same.
Ramona Calvert: Relatives are trouble, I couldn't agree more. Did I ever tell you about Walter, my brother? No? Well, what you have to go through with your mama, the suffering, that's what I had to suffer with Walter. One day we were playing, out back, down by the river and we came across the most beautiful ant hill you ever saw. And then Walter, he immediately kicked it, and stomped on it-just scattered it to the four winds. I just started howling, you know, I was just- I yelled for my mama, I ran up and I grabbed her and I dragged her down there just crying and carrying on. Anyway, my mama was trying to calm me down so she said 'Wait, wait, they're not finished, not by a long shot.' And, we waited and waited, and sure enough, those little black specks just started scurrying every which way, just working hard to build their home back. And I said 'Why do they do it? I'd just give up. I mean, it's hopeless!' And my mama said 'Yeah, you know, if there's just one of ya. But there's lots of ants down there. And they're all relatives. They're family, just like we are.' You know? That's what families are for. That's why they invented families: so hopeless didn't get the last word. So, listen, if ants can do it, I figure we can do it.
Birdee Pruitt: What can I say, mama? I am my own crown of thorns.
Birdee Pruitt: [to her daughter] I always thought that I was going to be, I don't know... special. But I'm not. I'm just... just an ordinary person. And that's ok. 'Cause *you* make me special. Don't you know that? Don't you know that you are everything in this world to me?