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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of a secret movie gem!
I had a free movie rental trial and was searching for films similar to 'Fifteen & Pregnant' (featuring Kirsten Dunst), when I came along this 'made for tv' movie. I thought I'd try it out seeing as it was a free trial and all. It turned out becoming one of my favourite films!
The unlikely and charming plot makes it not your regular chick...
Published on 15 Jan 2006 by jessieca89

versus
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very sweet
This film is extremely sweet. The characters are very well developed and Natalie Portman's character is truly believable- you at once empathise with her. Life throws these awful bombshells her way and yet she deals with them in such a strong, independent and accepting manner. Portman's humility exudes as does Novalee's bravery against all odds. I found this film great to...
Published on 8 Jan 2005 by G. Stephens


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of a secret movie gem!, 15 Jan 2006
This review is from: Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I had a free movie rental trial and was searching for films similar to 'Fifteen & Pregnant' (featuring Kirsten Dunst), when I came along this 'made for tv' movie. I thought I'd try it out seeing as it was a free trial and all. It turned out becoming one of my favourite films!
The unlikely and charming plot makes it not your regular chick flick as there are quite a few surprises along the way. But makes you wanting to come back and watch it again and again!
You must see this film!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very sweet, 8 Jan 2005
By 
G. Stephens "Blah, blah, blah" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This film is extremely sweet. The characters are very well developed and Natalie Portman's character is truly believable- you at once empathise with her. Life throws these awful bombshells her way and yet she deals with them in such a strong, independent and accepting manner. Portman's humility exudes as does Novalee's bravery against all odds. I found this film great to watch as a Sunday evening feel good flick- you can tell it was adapted from a book which usually puts me off however they all pull it off very nicely.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely wee film, 31 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
After seeing this film once on late night TV, I was hooked on it. I rented it a few times then thought, why haven't I bought this thing?! So I did! It's definately one of my favourite films, it's the ultimate feel good movie, for me personally. Maybe it's because the hero isn't all gorgeous and musclebound, which adds a sense of reality to the whole thing. Or maybe it's because Natalie Portman's acting is so good... or the feeling that you are following her whole life. I suspect it's a combination of all of these. If you like a good cry at the end of a film and a warm feeling when you walk away from the TV set, this is a must see for you.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where the heart Is, 24 Aug 2002
By 
Miss L (Marlborough, MA, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I discovered this beautiful little movie on late night TV and was immediately enthralled.
This story of love and hope against adversity has every human emotion: - it makes you laugh, it makes you cry but most of all it makes you think!
A fine story, a superb cast and a damned fine soundtrack come together to make this the ultimate 'feel good' movie. Buy it now!!!!!!!
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHITE TRASH GIRL MAKES GOOD..., 22 Feb 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Based upon the book of the same name by Billie Letts, this film was a more than pleasant surprise. It is simply a compelling, absorbing, and unusual film. Well directed by television veteran Matt Williams, the movie exudes a certain folksy charm that grabs the viewer from the get go and keeps that viewer enthralled until the final scene.
The film centers around Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman), a very pregnant seventeen year old, who, with her boyfriend, lowlife Willy Jack Pickens (Dylan Bruno), pulls up to a Walmart's in Oklahoma where he abandons her. So, with virtually no money, literally barefoot and pregnant, and nowhere to go, she sets up camp in Walmart by night and explores the town by day, making friends with a number of memorable characters.
She unexpectedly has her baby at Walmart's, making her into a minor local celebrity. While at the hospital convalescing, she meets a sassy, brassy nurse, Lexie Coop (Ashley Judd), who befriends her. She is showered with gifts and her mother, Mama Lil (Sally Field), a floozy who discovers her daughter's whereabouts courtesy of the media hoopla, pays her a visit. Having abandoned her once before, she is there long enough for Novalee to be abandoned, yet again.
Along comes Thelma 'Sister' Husband (Stockard Channing), an eccentric but kindhearted recovering alcoholic who scoops Novalee and her baby up and takes her to her home. This would be the beginning of a whole new life for Novalee, one that would be enriched by the people whom she meets and the experiences, both good and bad, to which she is subjected. It becomes the story of her personal and emotional odyssey, as well as the story and growth of those with whom she most closely interacts. It is a story about life, relationships, responsibilities, love, and the ties that bind.
It is also the story of Willy Jack Pickens and the direction his life takes subsequent to his abandonment of Novalee. After some bad breaks, he gets talent agent, Ruth Meyers (Joan Cusack), to sign him on in hope of furthering a musical career. Unlike Novalee, however, he does not take well to the vicissitudes of life and begins a free fall in a downward spiral. His waterloo culminates in a dramatic meeting with Novalee after many years, a meeting that sets her free from her past, free to love the one person who loves her for herself.
Natalie Portman delivers her best performance to date. In the role of Novalee, she mixes innocence with wonder at what the world has to offer her. She adds a certain sweetness, poignancy, and determination to the role that translates into a wonderful vulnerability laced with steel. It is this quality that gives Novalee the will to go on when the odds are so against her, and that is just what Natalie Portman conveys to the viewer.
Stockard Channing is great as the eccentric and kind Thelma 'Sister' Husband, a woman who never had children of her own but is truly a mother at heart. Nurturing her garden, as well as Novalee and her baby, flowers and plants are not the only things that thrive under her care. A veritable Mother Earth, she is the kind of person who brings out the best in others, and Novalee and her baby are no exception. Stockard Channing, a great, though underrated actress, brings this home to the viewer in spades.
Ashley Judd is terrific as the wide-eyed, "looking for love in all the wrong places" Lexie. She comes across as sassy and brassy but is really only looking for someone to appreciate her for who she is and not for the sex she has to offer. Judd delivers the nuances that this role demands. James Frain is sensational as the shy, sensitive, and kind Forney Hull, the town librarian's brother who befriends Novalee. He plays the role with such vulnerability and imbues him with such goodness that the viewer cannot help but care deeply for him. It is also almost hard to believe that James Frain is British, as he has an American accent so down pat.
Dylan Bruno is perfect as Willie Jack Pickens, the country good old boy who ruins his own life and almost ruins Novalee's. Joan Cusack shows her deft comedic flair in the small, but memorable role of Ruth Meyers, and Sally Field leaves her mark in her cameo role as Novalee's mother. All in all, the entire cast gives stellar performances. This is a well-directed film that should not be missed.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something to make you smile!, 13 July 2002
By 
Tamsin Kennard (CHARD, Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This is a film about life and dreams. It captures south western American life truthfully and presents realistic and interesting characters. It is based on the true story of the WalMart Baby (how close to the truth it is I don't know but it's still a wonderful story!) The actors are great and little Americus is so cute! The messages and morals it portrays are important and appropriate! It is so sad you cry, but it makes you laugh and it makes you think and it makes you understand. Basically, anyone who says that this film is bad are just party-poopers because it is truly lovely! It may not have excellent graphics or be paticularly clever in a "contempary" way but it is beautiful! It is not a feel-good movie, it is a feel-great movie!!! And if you ask me, that's the most important thing!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice film . . ., 12 Nov 2007
This review is from: Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
. . . I liked it and thought the acting was great from all and the happy ending was just the icing on the cake. The only thing I didn't like was a) Natalie Portman's accent. She does not sound like anyone I have ever met from Tennessee or anywhere in the south for that matter.
b) The story, at times seems a little far-fetched. For instance - the part when Novelie is hanging onto the cellar/storm shelter door hatch and her daughter as a tornado is passing by.
Other than that, its a very enjoyable fim with a strong cast.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHITE TRASH GIRL MAKES GOOD..., 11 Nov 2002
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Based upon the book of the same name by Billie Letts, this film was a more than pleasant surprise. It is simply a compelling, absorbing, and unusual film. Well directed by television veteran Matt Williams, the movie exudes a certain folksy charm that grabs the viewer from the get go and keeps that viewer enthralled until the final scene.
The film centers around Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman), a very pregnant seventeen year old, who, with her boyfriend, lowlife Willy Jack Pickens (Dylan Bruno), pulls up to a Walmart's in Oklahoma where he abandons her. So, with virtually no money, literally barefoot and pregnant, and nowhere to go, she sets up camp in Walmart by night and explores the town by day, making friends with a number of memorable characters.
She unexpectedly has her baby at Walmart's, making her into a minor local celebrity. While at the hospital convalescing, she meets a sassy, brassy nurse, Lexie Coop (Ashley Judd), who befriends her. She is showered with gifts, and her mother, Mama Lil (Sally Field), a floozie who discovers her daughter's whereabouts courtesy of the media hoopla, pays her a visit. Having abandoned her once before, she is there long enough for Novalee to be abandoned, yet again.
Along comes Thelma 'Sister' Husband (Stockard Channing), an eccentric but kindhearted recovering alcoholic who scoops Novalee and her baby up and takes her to her home. This would be the beginning of a whole new life for Novalee, one that would be enriched by the people whom she meets and the experiences, both good and bad, to which she is subjected. It becomes the story of her personal and emotional odyssey, as well as the story and growth of those with whom she most closely interacts. It is a story about life, relationships, responsibilities, love, and the ties that bind.
It is also the story of Willy Jack Pickens and the direction his life takes subsequent to his abandonment of Novalee. After some bad breaks, he gets talent agent, Ruth Meyers (Joan Cusack), to sign him on in hope of furthering a musical career. Unlike Novalee, however, he does not take well to the vicissitudes of life and begins a free fall in a downward spiral. His waterloo culminates in a dramatic meeting with Novalee after many years, a meeting that sets her free from her past, free to love the one person who loves her for herself.
Natalie Portman delivers her best performance to date. In the role of Novalee, she mixes innocence with wonder at what the world has to offer her. She adds a certain sweetness, poignancy, and determination to the role that translates into a wonderful vulnerability laced with steel. It is this quality that gives Novalee the will to go on when the odds are so against her, and that is just what Natalie Portman conveys to the viewer.
Stockard Channing is great as the eccentric and kind Thelma 'Sister' Husband, a woman who never had children of her own but is truly a mother at heart. Nurturing her garden, as well as Novalee and her baby, flowers and plants are not the only things that thrive under her care. A veritable Mother Earth, she is the kind of person who brings out the best in others, and Novalee and her baby are no exception. Stockard Channing, a great, though underrated actress, brings this home to the viewer in spades.
Ashley Judd is terrific as the wide eyed, "looking for love in all the wrong places" Lexie. She comes across as sassy and brassy but is really only looking for someone to appreciate her for who she is and not for the sex she has to offer. Judd delivers the nuances that this role demands. James Frain is sensational as the shy, sensitive, and kind Forney Hull, the town librarian's brother who befriends Novalee. He plays the role with such vulnerability and imbues him with such goodness that the viewer cannot help but care deeply for him. It is also almost hard to believe that James Frain is British, as he has an American accent so down pat.
Dylan Bruno is perfect as Willie Jack Pickens, the country good old boy who ruins his own life and almost ruins Novalee's. Joan Cusack shows her deft comedic flair in the small, but memorable role of Ruth Meyers, and Sally Field leaves her mark in her cameo role as Novalee's mother. All in all, stellar performances are given by the entire cast. This is a well directed film that should not be missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very touching, 3 May 2014
Based on the blurb, I assumed this would be a comedy. But it's a very touching, well put together film and I've currently been recommending it to everyone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very moving and enjoyable, 6 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I would classify this movie as a very enjoyable chilling out movie. It contains a very simple story line and yet filled with many moving issues that is sure to bring some tears and laughter. The movie deals with many issues of daily life, of happiness, sadness, hope and tragedy. If you are looking for occasional quiet night-ins and something romantic to watch, I would seriously recommend that you get this movie. I watched this movie on a 12 hour flight and I kept watching it again and again.
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Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000]
Where The Heart Is [DVD] [2000] by Matt Williams (DVD - 2004)
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