A small town Texas beauty queen, Birdee Pruitt (Bullock) returns to the nest after her husband announces that he's in love with another - on a TV talk show. Her taxidermist mother (Gena Rowlands) is not immediately sympathetic, but that's all the excuse Birdee needs to take a bottle to bed for the foreseeable future, to the disgust of daughter Bernice (Whitman). We're squarely in Terms of Endearment territory here. With such staples as the eccentric, wilful mother, the smart-mouthed kid, and the 'aw shucks' cowboy suitor (Connick), the movie sets itself up as a gentle, humanist riposte to the theatre of shock therapy presided over by the likes of Jerry Springer and Ricki Lake. Director Whitaker repeatedly betrays the material, however, with schmaltzy slow motion and tear jerking ballads. A touching scene between Birdee and her dad (an Alzheimer's sufferer) is spoiled with a cop out when she manages to break through, and Connick's philosophical handyman turns out to be - but of course! - an architect on the side.