Hope Floats

Forest Whitaker is a wonderful actor and a sensitive, if less distinctive, director of other actors. It’s his latter capacity that’s on view hereenhanced by such actors as Sandra Bullock and Gena Rowlands but limited by the absence of fresh material. (Steven Rogers’s script seems sincere enough but it’s awfully familiar.) A former prom queen (Bullock) married to her high school sweetheart and devoted to her daughter (Mae Whitman) discovers on a TV talk show that her best friend is having an affair with her husband, who no longer loves her. Still in a state of shock, she returns to her hometown in Texas with her little girl and tries to get her life back in order. Bullock, Rowlands, Whitman, and others in the castmost notably Harry Connick Jr.acquit themselves as admirably as the pedestrian script allows. (JR)

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