Hope Floats

Hope Floats Information

Hope Floats is a 1998 American romantic drama film directed by Forest Whitaker, and starring Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick, Jr., and Gena Rowlands.

Birdee (Bullock) is an unassuming housewife whose life is disrupted when her husband (Michael Pare) reveals his infidelity to her on a Ricki Lake-style talk show. She goes home to her mother (Rowlands) and the small town in which she grew up, where everyone knows of her televised marital collapse. Things only get worse as a family tragedy brings her ex-husband back for an official divorce. Meanwhile an old friend, Justin (Connick, Jr.), has entered her life, sparking a romance. While Justin's intentions are clear and good, Birdee struggles with the decision to let him fully into her life.


Birdee Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) is a Chicago housewife who is invited onto a talk show under the pretense of getting a free makeover. The makeover she is given is hardly what she has in mind...as she is ambushed with the revelation that her husband Bill has been having an affair behind her back with her best friend Connie. Humiliated on national television, Birdee and her daughter Bernice (Mae Whitman) move back to Birdee's hometown of Smithville, Texas with Birdee's eccentric mother Ramona (Gena Rowlands) to try to make a fresh start. As Birdee and Bernice leave Chicago, Birdee gives Bernice a letter from her father, telling Bernice how much he misses her.

Birdee struggles to make a new life for herself as a working single mother and must deal with the growing attraction between herself and a former high school classmate, Justin Matisse (Harry Connick, Jr.). She also must deal with rebuilding her relationship with her estranged mother, her ailing father (who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease), and her daughter, who wants desperately to be with her father and blames her mother for the breakup, even going so far as to try to sabotage the romantic overtures Justin makes towards Birdee.

Adding to Birdee's heartache is her former status as the school queen bee and a three-time beauty pageant winner, which alienated many of her former classmates who never left Smithville or have left and returned. They also haven't forgotten Birdee's high school snobbery and rub her nose in her televised embarrassment from her husband and former friend.

Ramona tries to mend the gap between her daughter and granddaughter by telling a childhood story of her own. She asks Bernice what she's wishing for her birthday. Though Bernice doesn't say it, she secretly wishes for her father to return.

That night, as Ramona is preparing for bed, she suffers a massive heart attack and drops her cup of tea. This alerts Birdee and she rushes to her mother's side and tries to awaken her, but Ramona dies.

At the funeral, Bill arrives at the church, joining the large crowd of mourners for Ramona. Bernice believes her father's presence is a sign her wish has come true...that her father wants them both to come home and life will be the same as it was in Chicago. She murmurs a thank you to her deceased grandmother.

Bernice, who has long been the apple of her father's eye, is dealt a hard blow of reality, when it becomes clear to her that her parents' split is permanent when Bill asks Birdee for a divorce. Wanting to be with her father, Bernice is devastated when he tells her that though he loves her, he has no room for her in his new life with Connie. Bernice tries to beg her father to bring her along, knowing how much he wanted her in the letter he wrote to her at the start of the film. Crushed at the thought that her father put another woman before her, Bernice breaks down sobbing, screaming for him to come back. Bill turns his back on her and drives off, leaving her to be comforted by her mother.

Bernice ultimately accepts Bill's departure from her life as a full-time parent and begins to accept Justin as her mother's new love interest and a father figure. Both mother and daughter share a tender yet humorous moment when Bernice asks Birdee if she's going to marry Justin. When Birdee asks her if she means she doesn't like Justin, Bernice says her only real concern is being known as "Bernice Matisse".



Hope Floats was filmed in Smithville, Texas. The home in the movie is the McCollum-Chapman-Trousdale House, built in the Neoclassical style in 1908. The Elementary School in the movie is a 1924 High School building. The church used was Saints Peter and Paul Church in Kovar, TX, about 6 miles from Smithville. The church was built in 1921.


Main article: Hope Floats (soundtrack)
The film's soundtrack was released in 1998 under the production of Don Was. The album included the works of several country music and adult contemporary artists, including Garth Brooks, The Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams, Bob Seger, and Sheryl Crow. One of its cuts, Brooks' "To Make You Feel My Love", was a Number One single on the Billboard country singles charts in August 1998.


Hope Floats: Original Score Soundtrack

  1. "To Make You Feel My Love" " Garth Brooks (3:53)
  2. "In Need" " Sheryl Crow (5:29)
  3. "Honest I Do" " The Rolling Stones (3:55)
  4. "Chances Are" " Bob Seger and Martina McBride (4:17)
  5. "All I Get" " The Mavericks (4:08)
  6. "Paper Wings" " Gillian Welch (3:57)
  7. "Stop! In the Name of Love" " Jonell Mosser (4:31)
  8. "Wither, I'm a Flower" " Whiskeytown (4:53)
  9. "What Makes You Stay" " Deana Carter (4:35)
  10. "To Get Me to You" " Lila McCann (3:50)
  11. "Smile" " Lyle Lovett (3:38)
  12. "When You Love Someone" " Bryan Adams (3:39)
  13. "To Make You Feel My Love" " Trisha Yearwood (2:57)


Critical response

The film has received mostly negative reviews from critics and currently holds a 24% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Awards and nominations

  • 1999 ALMA Awards
    • Nomination: Outstanding Performance of a Song for a Feature Film - The Mavericks for the song "All I Get".
  • 1999 Acapulco Black Film Festival
    • Nomination: Best Director - Forest Whitaker
  • 1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards
    • Nomination: Favorite Actor - Drama/Romance - Harry Connick Jr.
    • Nomination: Favorite Supporting Actress - Drama/Romance - Gena Rowlands
  • 1999 Lone Star Film & Television Awards
    • Winner: Best Actress - Sandra Bullock
    • Winner: Best Supporting Actress - Gena Rowlands
  • 1999 Young Artist Awards
    • Winner: Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actress Age Ten or Under - Mae Whitman
    • Nomination: Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actor Age Ten or Under - Cameron Finley
  • 1998 YoungStar Awards
    • Nomination: Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Drama Film - Cameron Finley
    • Nomination: Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama Film - Mae Whitman

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hope_Floats" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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