Where the Heart Is [Import]
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).
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
So please, read the book! You will not be disappointed. It's wonderful.
Most recent customer reviews
Love the movie. It took a while to get here but not forever, and I did get what I ordered.Published 4 months ago by Deborah Krentz
it was very scratched and was an old movie gallery DVD. I was told that there would be no case but I wasn't told it was used Or scratched. Read morePublished on May 3 2013 by rebecca m.
Have loved this movie (and the book) since I first saw (read) it! It's fabulous to finally own a DVD copy! I laughed...I cried...I can watch it over and over!Published on Dec 12 2012 by Tiff G.
I work the graveyard shift at Walmart and no one could ever get away with living there at night. There are people working there twenty-four hours a day and the lights never get... Read morePublished on June 4 2004
20th Century Fox's "Where The Heart Is" Released in 2000, Directed by Matt Williams, is a stereotypical drama with a predictable theme and a standard 'Chick-Flick' plot. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2004 by Dan Hancock
OK, let's face it. The only reasons a guy would like to watch this movie are:
A) Natalie Portman;
B) Ashley Judd;
C) Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd. Read more
First of all, to anyone who loved this movie: please, please read Billie Letts' book. Not to keep the book vs. movie debate going or anything . . . Read morePublished on Sept. 15 2003 by FalseName