Hope Floats, Hope Floats Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review
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"Hope Floats"

Forest Whitaker, directed “Waiting To Exhale”, in a most outrageous way, now for his second directorial stint, he gives us “Hope Floats”, where there was a familiarity in “Waiting to Exhale”, more knowledgeable in his stomping grounds, we miss that in his slowly paced “Hope Floats”.  He certainly has a freshly minted cast, Sandra Bullock, as the wife who has been done wrong by her husband, as she is banished back home to mother, the ever buoyant and radiant, Gena Rowlands, with a highly sharpened wit.  Here of course she runs into an old boyfriend Harry Connick Jr., whose character is well-flushed out to really make him real.  He is sketchily a construction worker, that refurbished old homes.  I cannot believe that he has been hunkering for his old high school cheerleader girl-friend for eleven years, while she married and had a daughter.  The need for more passionate performances and interaction between the main characters is so essential and so sorely missing.

The children fare so much better, Mae Whitman, as Sandra’s daughter gives a very challenging performance as does Cameron Finley, as her nephew who somehow became Rowlands’ charge.  Michael Pares as Bullock’s philandering husband is highly impressive. Somehow you just wish someone had taken Forest Whitaker in hand and told him that you can’t linger so laboriously over every shot and give Sandra Bullocks so many tears to shed.   Maybe what she needs is a “My Best Friend’s Wedding”.   A film that is rated PG-13 (For thematic elements). Needs to define those elements more clearly. Steven Rogers, scriptwriter, where were you when they needed you most?

Hope Floats
20th Century Fox

  • Sandra Bullock ------ Birdee Pruitt, troubled mother humiliated on TV
  • Harry Connick Jr. --- Justin Matisse, Birdee's suitor
  • Gena Rowlands ----- Ramona Calvert, Birdee's mother
  • Mae Whitman ------- Bernice Pruitt, Birdee's daughter
  • Michael Paré -------- Bill Pruitt, Birdee's errant husband
  • Directed by: Forest Whitaker
    Assistant director: Mary McLaglen
    Produced by: Lynda Obst
    Choreographer: Patsy Swayze
    Edited by: Richard Chew
    Written by: Steven Rogers
    Rated PG-13

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    Original Date Tuesday 2 June 1998
    Updated Saturday 6 June 1998