Where your heart beats

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German title Where your heart beats
Original title Where the Heart Is
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2000
length about 120 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Matt Williams
script Lowell Whole ,
Babaloo Almond
production Matt Williams,
Susan Cartsonis ,
David McFadzean ,
Patricia Whitcher
music Mason Daring
camera Richard Greatrex
cut Ian Crafford

Where the Heart Is (Original title: Where the Heart Is ) is a drama of Billie Letts in 1995, which in 2000 by Matt Williams was filmed. It's about disappointment, friendship and love.


In Where the Heart is about the 17-year-old, heavily pregnant Novalee Nation of Tennessee . She has no family, no education and no job. Her boyfriend and baby's father, would-be musician Willy Jack Pickens, drives away when she goes to the bathroom at a Wal-Mart in Oklahoma .

Completely on his own and with only five dollars in his pocket, the teenager locks himself up at Wal-Mart every night for the next few weeks in order to have a roof over his head. She makes her stay there as comfortable as possible until she goes into labor. Forney Hull, the passer-by, leaps through the window of the store to help her.

Novalee gives birth to a girl she calls Americus at Wal-Mart and meets nurse Lexie Coop, whom she becomes friends with. Due to the unusual place of birth, mother and daughter become famous in one fell swoop. Wal-Mart gave Novalee $ 500 as a gift and offered a job. With the money, however, her mother disappears, who turned up surprisingly. Novalee decides to stay in town because a friend, Thelma ('Sister') Husband, offers to live with her. The girlfriend is killed during a tornado . Her home is destroyed and Novalee inherits $ 41,000 from Sister. She bought a camera, won a prize for a photo of the destroyed house and started working as a photographer.

Meanwhile, Novalee's ex-boyfriend Willy Jack manages to become a record star; however, he cannot cope with the success, falls into alcohol and other drugs, and ultimately loses his legs in an accident. Forney confesses his love to Novalee and asks her if she loves him too, but she says no. When Forney leaves to go back to college after his sister's death, Novalee has not heard from him for three months. She drives over to him and confesses that she loves him and lied at the time because she was afraid she was not good enough for him. He says there is no one better than her, and they end up getting married at Wal-Mart.


James Berardinelli wrote on ReelViews that the film would tell the story of a person who would not be particularly successful but who could find love and family. He praised the characters and the uncomplicated plot of the film, as well as the portrayal of Natalie Portman.

In TV Movie 23/2000, Marianne Höhn criticized the large number of strokes of fate Novalee was exposed to in the film. She praised the "weird" but realistic characters. Film-dienst 23/2000 described the script as "misdirected". Treffpunkt Kino 11/2000 praised the actors as "brilliant".


Natalie Portman won the YoungStar Award in 2000 . She was nominated for the Teen Choice Award and the Young Artist Award in the same year .


  1. ^ Review by James Berardinelli
  2. Where your heart beats in the Dirk Jasper FilmLexikon ( Memento from May 20, 2006 in the Internet Archive )

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