Hope Floats
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +1

A good old-fashioned love story best describes HOPE FLOATS. It gets off to a rocky start with a scene of Birdee (Sandra Bullock) appearing on a national talk show where her "best friend" tells her on live TV that she and Birdee's husband have been having an affair. On that note, Birdee packs up and, along with her precocious daughter Bernice (Mae Whitman), leaves Chicago and goes back to her hometown of Smithville, Texas. Birdee had married her high school sweetheart and the town is buzzing with the shocking news of their former "Queen of Corn" coming home without her husband, the captain of the football team. Birdee's eccentric, but very caring mom (Gena Rowlands) and "good old boy" Justin (Harry Connick, Jr.) help mend Birdee and Bernice's broken hearts. HOPE FLOATS reflects the charming uncluttered life so typical of small towns. Bernice, wise beyond her years, her imaginative young cousin (Cameron Finley) and fun-loving grandmother almost steal the show.

This sweet, funny and sometimes sad movie will especially appeal to women. Birdee has to face a lot of deeply buried hurts and resentment she still feels toward her mother. She has always vowed she would be much different with her own child, but learns that 10 year-old Bernice has some of the same resentment toward her. The mending of these relationships and the realization that Birdee must now turn to those she snubbed in high school force her to stop wallowing in self-pity. Meanwhile, young Bernice is having problems being accepted at school, which leads to a brief fight between her and the school bully while classmates egg them on. That, however, is mostly shoving and hitting and is the film's only violence. In a very depressed state, Birdee goes to a local bar and gets drunk, which is not condoned. As she and Justin begin to fall in love, they spend a night together, but all we see is Birdee leaving his house early the next morning. Birdee expresses regret about that incident. That, plus several profanities and a few crudities, earn HOPE FLOATS a moderately questionable acceptability rating. Some recent PG-rated movies have more objectionable elements than this PG-13 one.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: 20th Century Fox, 10201 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90035

Crude Language: Few ( 2) times - Mild 1, Moderate 1
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular 1(G), Exclamatory 6
Violence: Once (school bully picks a fight with new girl)
Sexual Intercourse: None, but implied once after passionate kiss
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (passionate kissing)
Drug Abuse: Few times (beer drinking; woman gets drunk, not condoned)
Other: Messages of repentance and forgiveness, importance of family relationships
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teenagers and adults

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