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Where the Heart Is (2000)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  28 April 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 26,143 users   Metascore: 30/100
Reviews: 238 user | 78 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

A pregnant 17-year-old rebuilds her life after being abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma.



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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sue McCormick ...
Cake Supplier
Laura House ...
Karey Green ...
Mary Ashleigh Green ...
Girl in Bathroom
Laura Auldridge ...
Alicia Godwin ...


Novalee Nation is a pregnant 17-year-old from Tennessee heading to California with her boyfriend Willie Jack, but is abandoned by him at a Wal-Mart store in Sequoyah, Oklahoma. Novalee has no job, no skills and only $5.55 in her pocket, so she secretly lives in the Wal-Mart until her daughter Americus is born six weeks later. Novalee decides to raise her daughter and rebuild her life in Sequoyah, with the help of eccentric but kind strangers. Based on the best-selling novel by Billie Letts. Written by Stephen Hughes

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Laughter is harder... Friendship is stronger... Trust is deeper... When it comes from the heart. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense thematic material, language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Voz do Coração  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,292,939 (USA) (28 April 2000)


$33,771,174 (USA) (1 September 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The university at the end of the film that is supposed to be located on the East Coast is actually Baylor University in Waco, Texas. See more »


When Willy Jack Pickens first meets Ruth Meyers, the capo on his guitar moves from the second fret to the third, then back to the second. See more »


Thelma 'Sister' Husband: That's what the late Brother Husband used to say...
Novalee Nation: Brother Husband... Was he your husband?
Thelma 'Sister' Husband: No, he was my brother.
See more »


Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »


Grow Young with You
Written by Hillary Lindsey and Austin Cunningham
Performed by Coley McCabe, with special guest Andy Griggs
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Steady Beats.
15 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A young pregnant girl (Natalie Portman) gets left in a small Oklahoma town by her loser boyfriend (Dylan Bruno) on their way to California from Tennessee. Portman is literally stranded at the local Wal-Mart and then becomes a national celebrity when she gives birth late one night at the store. Local gardener Stockard Channing and her live-in lover (Richard Jones) take the youngster and her child in as Portman gets the opportunity to work for Wal-Mart. Immediately we are introduced to a whole host of vivid characters. There is nurse Ashley Judd who is rearing five young children of her own, department store photographer Keith David and shy librarian James Frain who is taking care of his alcoholic older sister (Margaret Ann Hoard). And we even get a short glimpse of Portman's trashy, money-hungry mother (an electrically-charged cameo for Sally Field). Time passes, and Portman experiences life, love, triumph, tragedy and everything in between as she makes the small Oklahoma town her own. Smart drama that never loses its way and stays interesting due to Portman's show-stopping performance. The rest of the cast is right on key as well as fellow "Heat" alum Judd does a deceptively deep and heartfelt job. The movie works due to a steady pace, strong direction and a totally under-appreciated script. 4 stars out of 5.

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Recent Posts
I love this movie so much, I named my daughter Americus ushi_gushi_head
Did you just fall in love with James Frain by the end of the movie?? iluvmygrls
Something Disturbing exclamatory87
Favorite lines? moonbabyjdk12
'it took me a whole month to loose my baby weight' GreenEyedLady28
Novalee was good but her mother was a peice of work! arielkerr7
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