Hope Floats  [DVD]
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Forest Whitaker directs this drama starring Sandra Bullock as a woman whose life is turned upside down. Birdee (Bullock)'s seemingly perfect existence is shattered when her husband admits to infidelity with her best friend on national TV. Returning to her hometown with her young daughter to lick her wounds, Birdee has to endure the taunting of neighbours and enemies from her high school days. However, when another old acquaintance, Justin Matisse (Harry Connick Jr), comes back into her life, new possibilities begin to arise. Can Birdee make a fresh start?
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Top Customer Reviews
Birdie takes their daughter, Bernice, and leaves her husband, returning to her small town roots in Smithville, Texas, where her mom, an eccentric but lovely lady, wonderfully played by Gena Rowlands, still lives. As a teenager, Birdie had been a big fish in a small pond, a popular high school cheerleader who had ended up marrying the high school star quarterback, Queen of Corn three years running, and the envy of most of the young women with whom she grew up. She now finds herself returning home with her tail between her legs, her fairy tale life having taken a decided nosedive.
While home, some of those who remember her manage to get their digs in. One person, however, a sensitive and sensual good ol' boy, Justin Matisse, played to sexy perfection by Harry Connick, Jr., remembers her with fond affection, as he has loved her since they were in high school. He is there, just waiting to pick up the pieces.
From very early on Justin tries to woo her (with a lot of unsubtle hints from her mother).
It's Birdee's story and follows her as she deals with the aftermath of her marriage collapsing. It's also about Birdee's relationships with her family (especially her mother and her daughter) and others.
What I loved about the film was the fact that it was character driven and the characters are 3 dimensional (at least the main ones are). The whole thing feels real and, therefore, is more touching. I had tears rolling down my cheeks watching it.
The storyline is so obvious I started making guesses about what would happen about 10 minutes in - and was spot on with all of them (except, I admit, the fate of the dog, which I got wrong - no spoilers!). Every character was a cliche, every scene written by numbers. Sandra Bullock is beautiful, no doubt, and Harry Connick Jnr a good looking chap, but she came across as annoying and he just felt, well, creepy.
The direction is wooden and dull - every scene with a panning shot from trees to ground, rooftop to ground, top of school to ground, as though that was Whitaker's only spot of creativity.
The score was appalling too, with awful cover versions of usually quite random songs shoehorned into the clunky story.
It's long too at nearly two hours - the basic story was an hour, hour and a half, but still the characters felt undeveloped and shallow, so what was FW doing with all that time? Oh, yes - panning shots.
Please, I beg you, don't waste your time - this is charmless, soulless and truly truly awful.
I get to choose the next film, Wife.
Bullock cannot, and probably will never, be described as a great actress, but she can be a be a good one when at her best and she is certainly very good in this. In my view, Bullock's most successful role and perhaps far more believable than in Congeniality or its sequel, the presence of Harry Connick Jr is quite a good choice and provides a good foil. The young girl playing the daughter does a very good job, herself.
The movie has its deadpan side, especially in the scene where her young daughter pleads with the disinterested father/husband to be able to join him which is replete with pathos, it later moves to the lighter side when Bullock's character starts to enjoy her life when working for the photo shop.
A very good effort from all concerned.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sandra Bullock is a reasonable actress and shines in her romantic/comedy roles. Here she tries some real acting and is partly successful although some of the tearful scenes are a... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Fantastic film great download on my kindle fire very pleasedPublished 2 months ago by Brenda Worton