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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 26,141 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.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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?


In the scene where Willy Jack Pickens (Novalee's estranged baby's father) picks up an underage hitchhiker Jolene he ask, "Where are you going"? She responds, "Anywhere but here". This is a nod to Natalie Portman previous movie Anywhere But Here. See more »


In opening scene of this movie it shows them at a trailer in Tellico Plains, TN which is located in Monroe County. Beside the trailer there is a train going by. There is no train track that runs through Tellico Plains, TN. In Monroe County only Sweetwater, Madisonville, and Vonore have train tracks running through their towns. See more »


Americus: Forney, if you give a cow chocolate will you get chocolate milk?
Forney Hull: Yeah. And if you spin a cow around real fast you'll get whipped cream.
Americus: Wow! You know a lot.
Forney Hull: Well, I work in the library.
See more »


Spoofs Léon: The Professional (1994) See more »


So Excited
Written by Stevie Ray Vaughan
Performed by NRBQ
Produced by Terry Adams and Joey Spampinato
NRBQ appears courtesy of Rounder Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

beautifully made and heart-warming
5 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

It is not that a movie such as "Where The Heart Is" comes along and makes an impression so huge that you don't want to see it end. This is exactly what happened to me when I sat down to watch "Where The Heart Is."

Within the first few moments of the film, I knew it would be special; this reason is Natalie Portman. Portman has a unique look of innocence that cannot be pulled off by many actresses as she does with her character, Novalee Nation. I couldn't wait for the next scene she would be in because of the physical beauty she possesses and the beauty in the performance she gives.

Complimenting the performance of Portman is that of Ashley Judd. As I was watching Judd and Portman, I could tell that these are two actresses who knew exactly what the other would say and do the moment before it was actually done. Ashley Judd lights up the screen every SINGLE time she arrives in a scene. It is a no wonder she is the best at what she does.

Another reason I liked "Where The Heart Is" relates to the double story lines of Portman's character determined to raise her daughter by herself while trying to make a career in photography. The other storyline revolved around the ex-boyfriend trying to make a name for himself in country music.

The cool thing is that these are hobbies of mine and whenever I saw a camera or heard country music it brought a smile to my face. Not only are these hobbies of mine but they are both testaments to what can be done if one works hard enough to attain a specific goal.

The story is one that will take you on a journey through the depths of your heart, soul, and end up in your head relaying the message that "Where The Heart Is" is a phenomenal movie.

"Where The Heart Is" is not only my favorite film but the best film of 2000. GO SEE THIS WONDERFUL WORK OF ART.

57 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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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