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Where the Heart Is


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1 new from CDN$ 99.99 2 used from CDN$ 14.87

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Product Details

  • Actors: Natalie Portman, James Frain, Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing, Joan Cusack
  • Directors: Matt Williams
  • Writers: Babaloo Mandel, Billie Letts, Lowell Ganz
  • Producers: Carmen Finestra, David McFadzean, Diane Minter Lewis, Gerrit V. Folsom
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
  • VHS Release Date: Jan. 13 2004
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006RCSW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,010 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Product Description

Ashley Judd and Natalie Portman shine in this offbeat, delicious slice of life about a down-on-her-luck Southern teen. After gaining 15 minutes of fame for giving birth to "The Wal-Mart Baby", Novalee Nation (Portman) begins to put her life together with the help of the kind, quirky strangers who become her surrogate family. It's an inspiring celebration of love, friendship and self-worth that delivers "quality, emotionally satisfying entertainment" (ReelViews).

Amazon.ca

Not to be confused with the 1990 comedy flop featuring Uma Thurman, this Where the Heart Is boasts a winning performance from Natalie Portman. Novalee Nation (Portman), a pregnant teenager from Tennessee, is bound for California with her worthless boyfriend, Willy Jack (Dylan Bruno). A pit stop at an Oklahoma Wal-Mart proves fateful when Willy Jack abandons her there. She secretly sets up camp at the megastore and spends her days meeting with kindly booster Sister Husband (Stockard Channing) and eccentric librarian Forney Hall (James Frain). Her life takes another turn after she gives birth in the store (clean up, aisle six!) and finds a best friend in sassy nurse Lexie Coop (Ashley Judd). Meanwhile, Willy Jack has found a talent agent (Joan Cusack) and tries to make some life changes of his own.

Where The Heart Is offers charming, folksy fun; homespun wisdom; and an obstacle course of plot development (if the Wal-Mart angle weren't enough, there's also a kidnapping, a tornado, and at least half a dozen other major events thrown in). Director Matt Williams, who produced the popular sitcoms Roseanne and Home Improvement, takes television's cut-to-commercial route to make giant leaps in space and time from scene to scene. It's disorienting, but the remarkable female cast (which includes Sally Field in a cameo) lends plausiblilty to the muddle, even when you don't think anything more could possibly happen. --Shannon Gee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jean Mills on July 3 2004
Format: DVD
This is simply a very pleasant movie to watch. You love all the characters immediately. It has humor, despair, love, tragedy and unrequited love. Stockard Channing is fantastic in her roll as is Ashley Judd. You must watch this film and I guarantee you will feel good when it is over. I gave this movie 5 stars because it is such an entertaining film. You don't have to close your eyes or grab your ears once throughout the whole thing. A very pleasant change. You'll love the method Ashley Judd uses to come up with names for her children. Try this movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I originally rented this video as part of my Natalie Portman marathon session. I didn't care or expect this to be a good movie. However, as I started to watch it, I started to lose focus of Natalie and get enveloped by the enormity of the plot's attention to detail.
Natalie and macho-stupid-everyman decide to move to California from TN. As they are going along, Natalie asks for some money to get some stuff in Wal Mart. When she returns, her boyfriend (and sperm-father of her fetus) is gone. His uncaring decision ignites an extended session of events.
First, Natalie intuits that she must stay in Wal Mart because of her superstitious opposition to the number five. She figures out a method to sleep in the store overnight. Any reasonable person would know this is not possible in reality, but I guess we can let movies have some creative license.
She ends up popping out her kid in the Wal Mart late at night with the unknown help of Forny crashing himself through plate-glass to help her (we are still trying to figure out how he knew she needed his help). She comes to and is told what happened and that she is a tv celebrity because of delivering the kid at Wal Mart. She even get $500 from the CEO of Wal Mart, plus a lifetime guarantee of employment at any Wal Mart due to the enormous positive advertising she gave the chain.
Most of the remainder of the movie deals with everyday life events raising the kid (Americus). One small event that displays the attnetion to detail of this movie is the part of the overly-literal right-wing nuts from Mississippi, who come there and temporarily steal the baby only to have second thoughts before deciding to just build a Jesus display on the lawn while saying that delivering kids outside of marriage is an abomination of God.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 18 2003
Format: DVD
This film was an extraordinarily wonderful surprise. The writing was excellent, managing a perfect balance throughout between tear-jerking scenes and comedic moments. Every time it teetered close to the edge of cliche, it pulled back to safety and perfection.
The performances by Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd and Stockard Channing were phenomenal. This film had me crying rivers, laughing, and clapping. It left me feeling better than I had felt after the last 10 movies I'd seen combined. It is also exceptional for how unlike other Hollywood movies it is; it tells a story about women with a truthfulness and reality that would not even have been possible to get put on film even a couple decades ago. Indeed, it's still a remarkable abberation.
I can't recommend this film too strongly. For anyone with a heart, buy it and treasure it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anna on Oct. 9 2003
Format: DVD
It's not that I didn't enjoy this film, but after finishing the book, I'd have to say that people who've seen the movie and haven't read the book have lucked out. I've never read such a heart-warming story that really makes you think about life and how much there is to appreciate. But, after I read the book I was curious as to how the movie measured up, and I'm sorry to say that the movie didn't. The book has so much more going for it and really explains what goes on, not to mention, things that seem almost and completely different from the movie. For an example, in the book there's a tragedy involving the local library, and the movie, well, nothing remotely compared to that happened. The movie ended differently than I had expected, because there were key points left out that were in the book and not in the movie.
So please, read the book! You will not be disappointed. It's wonderful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debra M. Rice on Sept. 20 2002
Format: DVD
I was SO disappointed with this movie. The only saving graces are Ashley Judd and the actor who portrays Forney Hull, whose name currently escapes me. The ENTIRE charm of this book are the characters and the way their lives become intertwined. The movie barely touches on this aspect of the book, and where the book literally evokes emotions from the reader, the movie fails miserably. The lines are so stilted. The scenes are so chopped up and so many characters in the book missing or undeveloped, it's hard to follow. On the one hand, if you read the book, you can follow the movie a little better. Had I seen this movie cold without having read the book, I would have thought it hard to follow. However, if you read the book first, the movie is such a disappointment. The casting of the actor who portrayed Moses Whitecotton was excellent, but they hardly touched on the depth of his character, which was such a waste. Ashley Judd did a great job as Lexie Coop, and Natalie Portman, although quite cute, came nowhere near to exuding the charm and innocence of Novalee Nation personality-wise. Stockard Channing has SO much talent, but as Sister Husband, Hollywood cut the soul of the character as portrayed in the book down to just about nothing in the flick. The book warmed your heart and soul, made you angry, made you cheer out loud, made you cry. It left you wanting for more. Then Hollywood got hold of the story and trashed it.
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