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Hope Floats
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Hope Floats More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Holy waste of time, Batman!

Author: 10fttall from USA
25 February 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**Contains Spoilers**

Yep, this has my vote for my least favorite movie I have ever seen. Thoroughly unbelievable and dull. We're supposed to believe that Daddy has been so great to this idiot of a little girl in the past, that she would scream for him instead of her obviously more loving mother? Come on... And I'm desperately trying to recall something that actually happened in this movie. The drama for me was intense anticipation of a storyline, which went sadly unfulfilled. Maybe there will be an extended special edition when the director and producers realize they made a horrible mistake and cut out the entire plot in the course of editing. After the opening, not a single thing happens except a wooden romance with a predictable happy, happy ending. Nothing really even threatens this except for internal stupidity on the part of Bullock's character. Oh yeah, when her mother dies the more sensitive among us may almost wake up....

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The right mix of drama and romance without higher pretensions

Author: Keith F. Hatcher from La Rioja, Spain
21 November 2002

Very much a film by, with and for the ladies perhaps and superficially is a romantic story; under the surface `Hope Floats' examines some of the difficulties of human relationships, above all between Birdie Pruitt and her husband and new-found love back in her home town, on the one side, and between Bernice and her parents and her new school-mates, on the other.

After recklessly driving a bus with the insufferable Keanu Reeves doing the superman thing, and the very misfired `Gun Shy' (2000) (qv), among others, one might be forgiven for saying that I was about to give up the ghost as far as Sandra Bullock was concerned.

However, as luck turned out, in `Hope Floats', as well as being one of the producers together with a whole fleet of ladies, Sandra Bullock turns in quite an acceptable performance. Totally apart from the fact that Sandra Bullock is most certainly very acceptable to look at, whatever she may be trying to do. In this case, with a very understanding Forest Whitaker (bravo! a man among the crowd!) at the helm, Ms. Bullock did not simply try to make an interesting little film, but actually succeeded.

The film starts off the worse possible way in one of those ridiculous reality TV chat shows, where poor Birdee finds out her husband is having an affair with her best friend. She takes off with her cute little daughter and turns up back home in li'l ol' Texas.

Mae Whitman as Bernice offers an incredible performance here, in great part due to good chemistry between her and Ms. Bullock; only a couple of times did her rôle seem a little forced and only very briefly, as for the most part her natural interpretation is surprisingly successful. The selected songs mostly chime in well with the proceedings, and of course Dave Grusin has long known how to manage this kind of thing.

`Hope Floats' achieves what it set out to be: a simple story with the right mix of drama and a little romance, without purporting to being anything greater. On those terms the average viewer will find this film entertaining and even instructive – especially the ladies. Just do not expect anything more marvellous than that.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Hope floats – but so does other stuff, like deadwood, turds or lifeless bodies

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
15 November 2002

When Birdee finds out on a TV chat show that her husband has been cheating on her with her best friend, she takes her daughter and goes back to her home town in Texas. However she finds that many of her old friends feel differently about her years later. Meanwhile she struggles to feel happy and help her daughter past the split while loneliness and difficulties pile up on top of one another.

I approached this with the same caution that one would approach a dangerous dog that has just dozed off. I don't like romantic dramas as a rule, I like romantic comedies – I don't mind slush and whatnot if it has a bit of spark to it. When this started with a Ricki Lake type show I assumed it was going to have a certain amount of energy to it. However it quickly gets dragged down into mush and sentimental as it gradually begins to drag it's heals.

The comedy is non-existent, but in fairness this is a drama rather than a comedy. However the drama really doesn't grip you or even make you care. Instead of content the film throws in sappy music and shot focus/slow-mo shots to try and create emotion with tacky tools. The central romance between Birdee and Justin fails for the most part because he just pops in and out for the first half of the film and I never felt their relationship was real or worth me caring about.

Bullock is miscast as Birdee. She excels in goofy girl next door role where she gets to be sparky and sassy. Here she has to mope a lot and `soul search' – that isn't a good look for her and she doesn't carry it off. Connick Jnr is actually an OK support actor but he isn't given a chance to work with too low a screen time for an important role. Also his character just doesn't feel real – he's a single guy who's really nice and he's an architect! Oh and he is really deep and sensitive. I'm not saying there's no one like this but the script should have given him at least some grounding in reality. Rowlands is feisty as Birdee's mother and ironically the only character who brings a bit of life to the film.

Overall this film is overlong and far too slow. It has no spark or energy and relies heavily on music and directing tricks to try and squeeze every bit of emotion out of it. It feels like a daytime TVM film that has only made it to a cinema on the strength of the cast. For hardcore rom-drama fans only, far too sappy and inconsequential.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: famousgir1 from London/England
15 April 2001

Wow! I really didn't expect to like this film as much i did. Actually, i didn't like it-I LOVED it. It was a such great film with a wonderful performance from Sandra Bullock who really shines in this movie. Great performances from: Harry Connick Jr, Gena Rowlands and Mae Whitman too. Whatever you are looking for in a movie, Hope Floats has. It's romantic, sad, funny and much more. A must see. 10/10

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Sandra Bullock could do a lot better

Author: ALittaM from Milano, Italy
9 August 2000

I found this movie very boring. Not that I stopped watching it, I wanted to see how it could have ended. Sandra Bullock is totally unbelievable playing a mother - no matter how old she gets, she'll always have that high school look that makes her so pretty. She's a good actress, too, but she never dares to add some depth to her character. The story lacks of plot twists, and honestly it could have lasted longer or shorter. Harry Connick should really stick to singing songs, a job he's great in. And people should rent this movie only if there's nothing, really NOTHING left on the shelves.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Horrible horrible horrible....

Author: Anna from London
27 May 2000

...I watched Hope Floats last night and was so appalled at myself for having rented it. The one thing that ruined it all apart from lack of decent plot, the thin characters and mixed up message (just what exactly was it?)- was the kid who played Birdees daughter. I thought her acting was awful. It wasn't realistic - it was just a precocious brat trying to act like a knowitall 40 year old - not like an 8 year old child - it didn't work. Her scene with the father was grossly over the top... Someone please pull this kid aside and explain to her about *subtlety* don't be fooled just cos this child can scream, shout and cry on demand does not mean its worthy of any kind of award.... a slap maybe but not an award. I like Sandra Bullock - she wasnt too bad in this but she was just overshadowed by the daughters horrible OTT performance which was a shame. I am a Harry Connick Jnr fan which I have to confess why I rennted this - but I have now learned my lesson. He was ok but a bit too subdued - he could have sung or something to brighten it up. I think it could have sparked between them but the film was just too rushed - one minute hes saying 'oh hi havent seen you for 20 years' next minute hes nibbling her ear in the back of the car! There wasnt time for the romance to grow..too much time trying to pack in the kid getting bullied the senile dad and all the other numerous tragedies.. not enough time was spent on any of them. My message to anyone who (disturbingly) thought this film was 'powerful', 'gripping' 'well acted' and to anyone who wants an uplifting film about hope then for gods sake go out and rent something like the Shawshank Redemption - don't waste your time with this drivel you'll just be left with the feeling of being robbed of the rental fee and also wondering why exactly you took 2 hours out of your life to watch this...

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Bullock turns in a great performance

Author: Delphian ( from Walla Walla, WA
29 December 1999

Hope Floats begins with a Ricki Lake-like talk show where Birdee Pruitt(Sandra Bullock) finds out her husband and best friend are having an affair. Birdee packs up and takes her daughter, Bernice, to her hometown, Smallville, Texas. Hoping she can rebuild her life in the town where she was three time Queen of Corn, Birdee soon finds out the whole town saw her life destroyed on national television.

This sets the scene for the rest of the film. No longer `Prom Queen,' Birdee finds it hard to get a job in the small town where everyone knows her. Snubbed by former classmates who are reveling in her misfortune, Birdee finds solace in the only local who is nice to her, Justin Matisse. Harry Connick, Jr. turns in an admirable performance as Justin. His big cowboy hat and work-worn jeans seem natural. He effectively portrays a man who has had a crush on Birdee since high school.

The film follows the classic romance formula almost too closely. Although the events are predictable, the cast does an respectable job of working through the stale formula. Bullock turns in her best performance to date. The scene in the bathroom with her mother is the most moving scene in the film. Birdee's resistence has finally broken down. She goes to the bar and gets drunk - for the first time, despite what others may have thought. Later that night, she gets close and comfy with the toilet bowl and realizes that she needs to move on with her life. This is the turning point in the film.

The next morning she faces her adversaries and looks to put the past behind her. Every time life gets unbearable Justin shows up. While she tries to deny it, she can't resist his `head-over-heals' love for her, and most importantly he makes her feel wanted and loved.

The two children in this movie, Bernice (Mae Whitman) and her cousin Travis (Cameron Finley), provide the comic relief needed to counterbalance the heavy main plot. Both are excellent actors. Whitman is very good at bawling. The scene where her daddy makes it obvious he doesn't want her is heart-wrenching. Finley successfully takes on many personalities including a dog, a frog and a tree.

One of the more touching scenes occurs when Justin comes over to find Travis sitting alone on the porch. Travis, whose mother dumped him and left for California, is feeling unwanted and unsure of himself. Justin, who has up to this point ignored the children, suddenly takes up the `fatherly' role. From this point onward the two become increasingly fond of each other.

Bernice hated Justin from the very beginning, always telling him to leave because her daddy was coming back. However, by the end of the movie when she asks Birdee if she is going to marry Justin, it isn't because she hates him, it's because she doesn't want to be known as Bernice Matisse.

Although the script could have been fine-tuned into a truly great film, "Hope Floats" nonetheless has reinstated Sandra Bullock as one of the top actresses of her time.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: DeeDee-10 from San Francisco
15 November 1999

The only redeeming footage in this film was the gut-wrenching scene between young, talented Mae Whitman and Michael Pare (playing her father). This is a scene to make people with young children think twice before they divorce. Connick was about as wooden as a two X four, although I must say Gena Rowlands managed to give a half-way decent performance. Not her best, but passable.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

a real sleep inducer

Author: hathead from USA
13 October 1999

Like so many movies today, this one was really more of an excuse for a soundtrack than anything else. But then I suppose the snooty, self-important Hollywood execs honestly don't think anyone would know how to react to a scene without a relevant hit song to indicate the proper emotional response.

Then there's the we haven't seen this kind of slop before. And of course there's the whole cutesy/eccentric small-town thing, like that's a new device as well. But if it's a cure for insomnia you're after, this one should do the trick after a few short minutes. Just make sure to keep the sound at a low level, lest you be awakened by one of the louder moments in the soundtrack.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

So does crap

Author: Boyo-2
1 September 1999

This movie couldn't have been worse. Maybe if I had never seen any other movie, this would appear to have something to say. As it is, its ALL been done before, and sometimes with talent and taste too. It was especially painful to see a little girl act as if she were 35 years old, which she does throughout the movie.

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