Birdee Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) learns on a national TV talk show that her best friend has stolen her husband away in a love affair. Shamed and shattered, she leaves Chicago with Bernice (Mae Whitman), her young daughter, and seeks sanctuary in the home where she was born and raised in Smithville, Texas. Birdee's eccentric and always optimistic mother Ramona (Gena Rowlands) tries to dispel her depression but to no avail. Meanwhile, Bernice continues to believe that her parents will be reconciled.

Forest Whitaker directs this emotionally affecting drama written by Steven Rogers. The focus is on the small ways in which this former beauty queen's life is slowly patched back together piece by piece. Birdee's father (Michael Pare), who's in a home for the aged, still thinks she has the mark of happiness on her. Justin (Harry Connick, Jr.), a handyman who was the first boy in town to kiss her years ago, also sees the shine in Birdee's soul.

The title provides the key to this story. In order for us to believe in the future and to step into it with buoyancy, we need the nurturing support of those nearest and dearest to us. Then hope floats.