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I'll admit from the off, I love Sandra Bullock. With her gorgeous girl
next door looks, I adore her, and will usually give anything she is in
a chance. she remains one of the most talented and beautiful women in
movies, and her ladylike sexiness is in rare supply. Any movie becomes
promising just by having her name in it's cast.
Plot In A Paragraph: Birdee Pruitt (Bullock) is an housewife whose life is turned upside when her husband Bill (Michael Pare) reveals his infidelity (with her best friend Connie) to her on a talk show. She goes to live with her mother (Rowlands) in the small town in which she grew up, where everyone knows of her television appearance. It's not long before an old friend, Justin (Connick, Jr.), has entered her life, sparking a potential romance.
The film was choreographed by Patsy Swayze. Harry Connick, Jr. Is OK (if a little bland) as Justin Whilst Kathy Najimy has a small role as Talk Show host Toni Post as does Rosanna Arquette as Connie and Bill Cobbs also pops up as a Nurse. As for Sandra Bullock she is as watchable as always, but these are not ninety of her better minutes.
Released in 1998, "Hope Floats" is a likable drama about Birdee Pruitt
(Sandra Bullock) who flees with her daughter (Mae Whitman) back to her
small home town in Texas to live in her mother's mansion while her
father is in a nursing home (Gene Rowlands plays the mother). Birdee is
disillusioned because her husband (Michael Paré) left her for her best
friend in Chicago. Both she and her daughter have to come to grips with
what's happened while a cowboy carpenter takes interest in Birdee
(Harry Connick Jr.). A peripheral issue is that Birdee was the beloved
prom queen in high school and her husband the popular quarterback.
I was expecting a great drama with "Hope Floats" but it wasn't to be. The film was directed by amiable Forest Whitaker (Cuffey in "North & South") and written by Steven Rogers. There's nothing wrong with the cast, soundtrack, direction or locations; the problem lies with the screenplay. It's just too by-the-numbers. I'd give obvious examples but I don't want to give away the story for those who haven't seen it, although I wouldn't actually be giving anything away because the script's so predictable.
Nevertheless, it's worth checking out for those who like dramas, the cast and country music. It was a mild hit at the box office in 1998.
The film runs 114 minutes and was shot in Smithville, La Grange and Austin, Texas, with opening scenes in Chicago.
This is one of those guilty pleasure type movies I find myself watching
just about every time I catch it on TV. Its not perfect, a total chick
flick but also completely addictive and pretty great. Sandra Bullock
plays Birdee Calvert, a Chicago wife who returns home to her small
Texas hometown after her husband reveals on a talk show that he's
(been) having an affair with her best friend.
Bullock is as always likable and I enjoyed watching her (get drunk) trying to put her life back together again with the help of her eccentric taxidermy loving mother (Gena Rowlands) and a yummy (in an awkward sort of way) Harry Connick Jr.
All the performances seem authentic and this doesn't really fall into romantic comedy genre(which may be why I like it). It's more of a family drama complete with all the tears laughter and love that incorporates. The small town atmosphere also really adds to this as her old classmates revel in seeing a former beauty queen taken down a notch.
The one standout performance here would have to go to the little girl playing her daughter Bernice, she is just fantastic. That scene towards the end when she runs after her dad crying "you want me" "take me with you" just kills me. Well that and Connick leaning up against his pick-up with a handful of flowers and 'those' Levis'. 12/7/14
I love this movie. This movie will touch your heart in so many ways. No
matter how many times I see it, it always makes me smile, and cry and
finally feel hopeful. It's a story so many people go through today;
Divorce, growing up, family, love, change. Finding out, after your
whole life is ripped from you, that life does goes on; sometimes even
for the better. All you need is a bit of hope and the kindness of
others to get by those rough periods. It reminds me that there are many
people out there that you can love and who will love you back. That
change, no matter how hard it might be at first, is possible and even
good for you.
Best line in the movie that say's it all: "Just give hope a chance to float up and it will". So true!
Such great acting by all involved: Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick Jr., Gena Rowlands, and the kids (Mae Whitman and Cameron Finley).
If you haven't seen it yet, rent it. If you have, watch it again for it will surely make you feel good about life, family, friends, and yourself.
Birdee Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) is blindsided by her best friend Connie
as she tells her that she's been sleeping with her husband Bill Pruitt
(Michael Paré) on a national TV talk show. Birdee and her daughter
Bernice (Mae Whitman) runs back home to her mother Ramona (Gena
Rowlands) in Smithville, Texas. She's a former beauty queen and
everybody in town knows about her embarrassing downfall. Old schoolmate
Justin Matisse (Harry Connick Jr.) is still in love with her.
Forest Whitaker is the director. He is surprisingly in love with these cheesy romantic movies. There is no real life in this movie. Sandra Bullock is a compelling actress and she has a couple of good scenes. Mae Whitman has a heart wrenching scene at the end. There are good actors here although Harry Connick Jr. still needs some seasoning. He looks too young, too unimpressive, and lacks depth. His relationship with Birdee has a lighter than air quality. There just isn't any substance in their chemistry. It doesn't power through the waters as much as it just floats there.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I would like to see a movie about the damaging effects on a person who
is brought onto a T.V. talk show under false pretenses only to have
their spouse reveal that they are having an extramarital affair thereby
humiliating them on national television. What does that person go
through afterwards? How do they cope? Watching the opening scene of
'Hope Floats' I thought the movie would answer these questions but
alas, this is a movie that has a far less original idea in mind.
The jilted is Birdie Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) and she is so humiliated that she leaves Chicago to go and live with her mother in Smithville, Texas. After this promising opening, the movie piles on one eccentric character after another and one impossible situation after another until Birdie's public humiliation doesn't seem quite so bad.
Birdie's mother is played by the ever dependable Gena Rowlands who lives in a mansion, despite having no apparent source of income. Her annoying daughter Bernice functions in the story only to whine about wanting to move back in with daddy apparently forgetting what he did to mommy. Then comes the character that only exists in the movies, a marlboro man-type of an old boyfriend who is there to be sympathetic and carry Birdie through the inevitable clichés that will carry them to the final soppy romantic moment.
Will they have sex? Will they have a fight afterward? Will they seem on the verge of breaking up only to get back together so we can get our money's worth? If you don't know the answer to any of these questions then you obviously haven't been to a movie in the last 80 years. By the end I wasn't surprised that the movie didn't answer my questions about jilted spouses on talk shows. In a movie so eager to fit the requirements of it's formula plot, there isn't much to be surprised about.
Was Bill Pruitt totally mad to want to leave Birdee (Sandra Bullock)? I
mean, if you're going to make a movie about a cuckolded wife, you can't
do it effectively using Sandra as your actress. She is the most
desirable woman on the planet - not just in looks but as a genuinely
sincere person - not to mention a damn good actress. Heck! I can't look
at a woman without comparing her with Sandra (which, I guess, is why
I'm single - no one meets the standard!)
Even in this movie, I can't help feeling that Birdee has a lot of the real Sandra in her. Even though she is beautiful, she is not conceited or vindictive. Harry Connick Jr. as Justin is equally sensitive and doesn't stalk her, even though he clearly counts his blessings that he has a second chance to have what he was too slow to get the first time. He genuinely woos her in the real old-fashioned way which is quite a pleasant change from most so-called romance movies these days.
And Mae Whitman as Birdee's 9-year-old daughter, Bernice shows her to be the star that she has, since Hope Floats was made, become. It always amazes me how young children are able to act so convincingly in traumatic domestic situations such as Bernice had to. Full marks to Mae!
Of course, a true queen of the silver screen, Gena Rowlands as Birdee's mum, is everything we have come to expect of her - a tender, all-knowing matriarch who holds everything together.
All in all, a fine movie that, in my opinion, is worth more than the 5.8 that viewers have given it. Definitely a movie I will happily watch again, and again over the years.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(Credit IMDb) Birdee Calvert must choose between her morals and her
heart after her husband divorces her and a charming young man, who her
daughter disapproves of, comes back into her life.
Even when Bullock makes the laziest romantic comedies, I usually find plenty to enjoy about them. Hope Floats is one of the very few movies that I don't care for of Bullock's. It lacks laughter, moving moments, and overall enjoyment. The first 40 minutes or so involves nothing but Sandra Bullock moping and feeling sorry for herself. It moved as slow as molasses and I got bored easily. Her character predictably turns around, but the journey isn't worth the reward. I didn't really care about any of the characters, aside from Beatrice. Mae Whitman gives an adorable performance as Bullock's kid, showing plenty of poise and maturity for her age. There is a really weird opening that feels like a Jerry Springer show with how Bullock gets dumped in this movie. Connick Jr. is rather bland as the love interest. I thought he was rather smug myself. Bullock tries, but she isn't enough. This movie is predictable and thoroughly average. If you want a good romantic film from Bullock, check out While You Were Sleeping, Lake House, among others
Most people will probably watch this movie expecting romance, but they
will be getting a whole lot more of things they didn't expect. This is
basically the opposite of a feel-good movie, since it contains an ugly
divorce, sadness, death and a whole lot of awkwardness.
It doesn't help that the acting is really bad. Sandra Bullock is a very limited actor and has a very narrow range of emotions, and Harry Connick Jr is a total disaster as her romantic suitor. It is too bad that the director Forest Whitaker, who himself is an Oscar winner, didn't cast proper actors.
The plot made me felt awkward many times, as Connick's romantic courtship of Bullock borders on stalking on numerous occasions, and he has no problem making moves on her when she is clearly not ready and even says so to him. The movie generally lacks tender moments but it is full of awkward moments, and that was not what I had in mind when I sat down to watch this.
Birdie learns on a TV talk show that her husband has been sleeping with
her best friend. She packs up her car and drives to her mother's home
in Texas. Her mother still lives in the same house as Birdie grew up.
She talks to many people from her past as she tries to figure out her
This is a story of how some people will do anything to make other happy, when all it does is make everyone miserable. While it does show the dangers of being a people pleaser and trying to be someone you're not; some will find it hard to see this message past the character of Justin attempting to date a married woman.
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