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      Where the Heart Is

      PG-13 Released Apr 28, 2000 2 hr. 0 min. Comedy Drama TRAILER for Where the Heart Is: Trailer 1 List
      35% 98 Reviews Tomatometer 76% 50,000+ Ratings Audience Score After Tennessee teen Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman) is left literally barefoot and pregnant in a Wal-Mart parking lot by her no-good boyfriend, Willy Jack Pickens (Dylan Bruno), she manages to live within the mammoth megastore until her baby's abrupt arrival makes her a media darling. After this, Good Samaritan nurse Lexie (Ashley Judd) takes in Novalee and her newborn daughter. Before long, Lexie and Novalee form a life-changing bond of friendship and sisterhood. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Jan 09 Buy Now

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      Where the Heart Is

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      Critics Consensus

      Poor script and messy plot undermines the decent cast.

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      Audience Reviews

      View All (1000+) audience reviews
      Sofia P One of my favourite movies growing up. I know it's not a masterpiece, but I have loved Natalie Portman unconditionnally ever since. Call it imprinting. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 10/05/23 Full Review Loreto Es. T I saw a critic's review that the plot is messy. Listen, Honey, that's just the way life is — messy and full of surprises. You can't sanitize it like a clearly plotted hero's journey. Love the "messiness" of the plot. The one clear thread, though, when seeds of kindness are planted in the lives of people, their lives change in the most unexpected ways. In the end, LIFE (Love in Full Expression — thanks, Suzanne Giesemann, for this useful acronym) wins. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 06/28/23 Full Review Andrea L This movie has heart and stands the test of time. 23 years later, it still resonates. Still watchable and sweet. Recommend. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 05/27/23 Full Review sariah j I signed up for a Rotten Tomatoes account just to write a review for this movie. I'm an avid movie watcher, and appreciate all genres. I am not usually squeamish. However this movie disgusted me so much. The part where Ashley Judd's character walks in on her young children being molested by her new boyfriend is FOUL! There are just some lines that human beings shouldn't cross. This is a prime example. I turned it off. Shame on the production company for allowing something like this to be portrayed on screen!! Hard pass Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member All time fav movie if you have the time sit down and watch it very much worth you're time. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member Spoilers Below: The only redeeming quality of this movie was the acting of the cast. Natalie Portman (Novalee) along with Ashley Judd (Lexie) portrayed their characters (poorly-written ones at that) convincingly and with true emotion. Stockard Channing (Sister Husband) did a fine job at playing a lovable mother-figure that helped movie the story along. I say story very loosely, because this movie had no discernable plot. It watched like when you have to get to a certain word count so you just keep adding details that really don't connect or make much sense at all. Now, it may just be a terrible novel that the movie was adapted from, but it doesn't negate the fact that the writers made some "interesting" choices when creating this film. The movie was made up of convenient coincidences. Novalee's pentaphobia was written in as an excuse to add dramatic, nonsensical, and atrocious plot points. She gets $5.55 as change? Oh no, her garbage ex abandons her at Wal-Mart! She receives $500? This must mean that her mother, who abandoned her and had no impact on the film other than proving how terrible of a person she is, is coming back around to steal said cash! It's December 5th? This must mean something is wrong with Novalee's baby, Americus! And sure enough, some missionaries from Mississippi kidnap her! These completely illogical events that occur in the movie are flimsily explained by a phobia that, in all honesty, is more premonitory than it is absurd. The writers also should've stopped focusing on Novalee's ex, Willy Jack (played quite well by Dylan Bruno). No morally-correct individual could ever muster up even an ounce of care for Willy Jack. There could be no situation that a watcher could even feel empathy for WJ. Instead of abandoning this character just as he abandoned Novalee at Wal-mart, the writers clung onto him as if he were a saving grace to the story. This movie could've been a half-hour shorter if he were never brought up again. His wild adventures across the Midwest ! were boring, gross to watch, and served nothing other than to convince Novalee to go get her man (!!), which she could've garnered the inspiration to do so from any other garbage character in this garbage movie. Every character faced a tragic moment in this movie, which could've been fine if said moments weren't the most dramatic and incredibly depressing traumatic events a person could face. TW here. Lexie, Novalee's best friend, walked in on her children being molested by a new lover she had. Novalee lost the only mother-figure she'd ever had in a tornado. Forney's sister passed away from complications relating to her addiction that caused Forney to give up on his dreams in the first place. Once again, watchers would have a much lovelier time viewing this movie if even half of these many of these plot points were thrown out. Overall, a 1/5. Terrible writing, terribly developed characters, and a terrible plot all the way through. I could go on, but honestly I don't know if words can quite capture the atrocity this movie truly is. Happy watching ! Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      This movie is featured in the following articles.

      Critics Reviews

      View All (98) Critics Reviews
      Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly Rated: F Sep 7, 2011 Full Review Nell Minow Common Sense Media A chick flick that's as yummy as eating bon-bons. Rated: 3/5 Dec 29, 2010 Full Review Rick Groen Globe and Mail Not possessing much in the way of a character arc, saints are boring to watch and impossible to act. Rated: 2/4 Apr 25, 2003 Full Review Mark Halverson Sacramento News & Review Rated: 2/5 Aug 7, 2008 Full Review Betsy Bozdech Reel.com Predictable, schmaltzy, and knock-you-over-the-head obvious in its attempts to be endearingly offbeat. Rated: 2/4 Sep 1, 2006 Full Review Frank Swietek One Guy's Opinion Rated: B Jul 24, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis After Tennessee teen Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman) is left literally barefoot and pregnant in a Wal-Mart parking lot by her no-good boyfriend, Willy Jack Pickens (Dylan Bruno), she manages to live within the mammoth megastore until her baby's abrupt arrival makes her a media darling. After this, Good Samaritan nurse Lexie (Ashley Judd) takes in Novalee and her newborn daughter. Before long, Lexie and Novalee form a life-changing bond of friendship and sisterhood.
      Director
      Matt Williams
      Executive Producer
      Rick Leed
      Screenwriter
      Billie Letts, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
      Distributor
      20th Century Fox
      Production Co
      Wind Dancer Productions
      Rating
      PG-13 (Sexual Content|Language|Thematic Elements)
      Genre
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Apr 28, 2000, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 25, 2015
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $33.8M
      Sound Mix
      Dolby Stereo, DTS, SDDS, Surround, Dolby Digital, Dolby SR
      Aspect Ratio
      Flat (1.85:1)
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