Hope Floats

6.01 h 54 min1998X-RayPG-13
Young mother Birdee Pruitt returns to her Texas hometown after learning that her husband has been unfaithful. Humiliated, Birdee tries to build a new life for herself and her daughter as an old flame comes back into her life.
Forest Whitaker
Sandra BullockHarry Connick, Jr.Gena Rowlands
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Mae WhitmanMichael PareCameron FinleyKathy NajimyBill CobbsConnie RayRosanna ArquetteHarry Connick Jr.
Lynda Obst
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Violencealcohol usefoul languagesexual content
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4.8 out of 5 stars

8808 global ratings

  1. 87% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 8% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Linda HendrexReviewed in the United States on July 5, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Such a Sweet, Feel-Good Story!
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HOPE FLOATS is one of my all-time favorite movies. Well written and well played by some of the best actors in the business, this is an absolute treat to watch.

One of the things that makes it such a worthwhile story is how it captures the honest experience that a human being goes through when their world falls apart around them and they don't know how to go on. It is terrible to lose your foundation in life, but a beautiful thing to find a way to emerge from the wreckage.

This story is touching, funny and ultimately encouraging. Highly, highly, highly recommended.
19 people found this helpful
trishaaReviewed in the United States on September 11, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Outstanding Classic
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Hope Floats is vintage movie whose story never goes out of date because there broken marriages everywhere you look. Sandra Bullock as Birdie Pruitt, the discarded wife, and Harry Connick Jr. as Justin give a heartfelt performance as two people struggling to find their way. Birdie and her daughter, Bernice, played by Mae Whitman (outstanding for a child), have to move back home to mom's house. Gena Rowlands once again gives an outstanding interpretation of Bullock's mother. Rowland is one of our unsung actresses and doesn't get the accolades she so deserves.

Birdie has had all the luxuries a woman could want in her marriage to Bill (Michael Pare') and is in for a rude awakening when she realizes that the marriage is over between her and the rat. She has huge struggles coming to terms with the situation but the real star of the show is Bernice. Of course, a child cannot begin to come to terms with the fact that her father could possible not want her anymore and blames her mother for her daddy turning his back on her.

This movie is full of humor, soft romance, heartache and realizing life is not all sunshine and roses. Forest Whitaker did an excellent undertaking of directing this movie and the cast was beautifully chosen, with a chemistry between each character. Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks both sing the Billy Joel song To Make You Feel My Love, spot on for this movie.
33 people found this helpful
DavidsgirlReviewed in the United States on January 31, 2022
3.0 out of 5 stars
Not a feel good film
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I wanted to love this. But I didn’t. From the opening scene, which was wretched, it was painful straight through. The only happy scene was the end. I found the family disturbing and strange. And Travis needed to just go away. He was the strangest of them all. Sandra Bullock is an amazing actress and the girl who played her daughter was amazing as well. But I just couldn’t love this movie. Very strange family, which made it hard to relate. And very sad, which made it hard to feel any joy or happiness. The relationship between Justin and Birdie always seemed stressed and she always seemed distant from his advances, regardless of what he said or did. There was never the satisfaction of really watching them fall in love — until she runs off with him at the end. And that just didn’t make sense. Nor did it make for a good movie. Poorly written in my honest opinion.
3 people found this helpful
Lisa HasslerReviewed in the United States on September 12, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
A split personality film that fails on all levels
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This movie didn’t know what it wanted to be. Was it a rom com? Was it a serious drama? A silly parody? Unfortunately it failed as all or any. The Justin character was creepy. As Birdie tells him she is uncomfortable and didn’t want to have sex, he repeatedly shushes her and continues to stroke her hair and pressure her. Birdie was apparently a mean girl in high school and doesn’t even remember those she tormented, yet somehow those days represented when she was her true self and at her best. There is no chemistry and a complete lack of anything resembling witty dialogue between her and creepy Justin. The characters of her husband and best friend were flat. Her high school friends were stereotypes. The actors did what they could with a sub par script and story line. I am truly befuddled that this has so many 5 star reviews. Even the ending seemed forced. Don’t waste your time.
6 people found this helpful
Birder GirlReviewed in the United States on October 24, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Hokey But Endearing
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Former small town Texas belle escapes NYC with tail between her legs and a failed marriage in her rear view window. Humiliated on national tv by her cheating husband and best friend, she must re-examine her past and future in the glare of nosy townsfolk, her quirky mother ( terrifically pushy Gena Rowlands), and her depressed pre-teen daughter. Oh, and there is the boot-scooting local (Harry Connick) who has carried a torch for her since high school. This film is not great writing or script and yet there are so many pleasurable moments, it is definitely good entertainment. Bullock is her usual beautiful and vulnerable self. Harry Connick isn't much of an actor but so appealing, I'd watch just to see him and Bullock do a joyous Texas two step. Some great country background music.
9 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on September 9, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Botch job
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It started out promising, but quickly became syrupy, trite, and cringeworthy. They made light of the material in ways that just didn't work, and it got irritating fast. Something like this needs dark humor, if any, not Lifetime/Hallmark style inanity. The acting was good, especially the kid and Gena Rowlands. The script was awful. Even the lead's character is too wishy-washy to be truly relatable. The writer played it too "safe." There were only a couple of quality, poignant scenes. Most of it was painful treacle that I wouldn't have sat through if I'd been watching on my own. Two stars only for the actors' efforts.
4 people found this helpful
WendyCR72Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars
You *Can* Go Home Again...
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Sandra Bullock does a wonderful job as Birdee Pruitt, a woman who has the rug pulled out from under what she thinks is her idyllic existence as a homemaker on national television when her so-called best friend, luring Birdee on a Ricki Lake-type show for what she believes is a free makeover, announces she has been having an affair with Birdee's husband, Bill. An affair he has precious little remorse about.

Humiliated and reeling, Birdee takes their daughter, Bernice, from the home she and Bill shared in Chicago and goes back home to Smithville, Texas, where Birdee sheepishly reminds her daughter she was "Queen of Corn" for three years straight. In Texas, where she was once a big fish in a small pond, Birdee hopes to lick her wounds. Once home, she reacquaints herself with her mother, Ramona, a somewhat offbeat woman played with zest by Gena Rowlands. (A classic line from her when she asks Birdee why she was on TV and Birdee answers, "I just wanted a free makeover" and Ramona responds, "Well you got one!" was superbly delivered.) She also reconnects with her nephew, Travis, being raised by his grandmother while Birdee's sister tries to make it as an actress in California. Travis acts out his abandonment issues in an odd fashion, in costumes and as various characters, which Ramona handles with equanimity, likely since she is a bit off center herself.

In the midst of Birdee's humiliation and misery comes some matchmaking by her mother when old friend - and someone who crushed on Birdee from afar when in school - Justin Matisse drops by. Justin, played by Harry Connick, Jr, is a salt-of-the-earth type architect/construction worker. He clearly still has deep-seeded feelings for Birdee, feelings she is ill equipped to handle. Bernice does not handle the entrance of Justin into their lives well, secretly hoping for her parents to reconcile.

What follows is a languid, slow-paced tale of Birdee wallowing in pity until Ramona sets her straight. When trying to find a job with almost no skills, some former classmates Birdee looked down upon waste no time in slyly rubbing her nose in it. Bullock plays a chagrined Birdee to perfection, making you feel for her and hoping she can get herself together. Along the way, a flirtation with Justin slowly turns into more, despite Birdee's continued antipathy about her marriage. Connick holds his own with Bullock, and I thought they had remarkable chemistry. One of the best scenes in the film is when Justin and Birdee dance. Connick and Bullock apparently trained with Patsy Swayze, and likely did her proud. They clearly looked like they were having a blast. The subsequent scene at the house Justin brings Birdee to, one he is building, is very romantic and gentle. Those adjectives sum up the relationship quite well.

Of course, no would-be romance would be complete without conflict, and, as mentioned, Bernice's resistance provides plenty. Mae Whitman as Bernice was compelling. She played a child of divorce achingly well, and even when acting out, you could see the hurt underneath it. The scene between her and Michael Paré was gut wrenching when Bill would not take his daughter home with him. Alas, the only flaw seems to be that Bill is shallowly characterized, the heartless guy who has no qualms about abandoning his family. But since it does happen, I can't be too harsh here.

Add in other issues, such as Birdee's father battling the heartbreak of Alzheimer's disease and Ramona's eventual fate (I won't spoil it), and I admit, it is not always a "light" movie. But the romance keeps it from being too maudlin, and the family dynamic is as real as it gets. This is not to say there is no fun. See the aforementioned dancing...as well as a sweet scene as three generations of women - Ramona, Birdee, and Bernice have a little fun with "I Can't Get Next To You."

Forest Whitaker does a credible job as director here. Overall, this movie seems to be about a woman's journey from long-time appendage to finding her own way, and it was handled deftly. Indeed, to be honest, it was about...hope. Hope for a new future, hope for a new life, and hope for new love with the one who always loved her.

The romantic in me really, truly loved it for those reasons. If you like the theme of "second chances" and romance with "the one who almost got away", I cannot recommend this movie enough. I think it is honestly among Sandra Bullock's best movies and deserved *much* more success and respect than it received!
16 people found this helpful
Larry A. JonesReviewed in the United States on August 6, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Love while you can
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This is the greatest love story. Truth about emotions and life itself is threaded all through. I think it would be suited for children over 8, but that's my humble opinion. There is no sex, closest word to profane is "shucks". The main thread is to love while you can. While you can. It will make most of you cry. Harry Connick is so authentic, even in off hand gestures and his portrayal of awkward approach scenarios he will just make you feel good.
What can be said for Sandra Bullock. Her acting skills from shunned and betrayed Supergirl housewife to the adjusted and tender hearted mom is just what you need. I really don't see how anybody but a cold blooded scoundrel wouldn't be totally Blessed by this movie. Check out who the producers and writers are, all people with HEART.
18 people found this helpful
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