Where the Heart Is

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Matt Williams
Production: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min


You gonna drive this

deathtrap to California?


You saying I'm not?


You won't make it past that tree.

Novalee, you plan on

leaving today?

She's in the bathroom.

Why don't she just move into the damn

bathroom? Get all the little photos.


I'm ready.

Now, hold on. Now I gotta go.

We'll miss you, Novalee.

The floor's missing.

He got the whole car for $80.

He had to fix everything on it.

And here's the best part:

No fives.

- You and your fives.

- What fives?

On my fifth birthday, my mama ran off

with an umpire and never came back.

After I dropped out of school and was

waiting tables, a lady went crazy.

When I tried to calm her, she jumped

at me and cut me from wrist to elbow.

- What's that got to do with fives?

- Took 55 stitches to close her up.

I don't like fives.

That's it. Let's hit it! Let's go!


Will you take a picture

with my new camera?


All right, let's go, let's go.

Come on, come on.

- Sweetie, call me, okay?

- All right.



All right, bye.

Finally, it's already five.


I hope we can find a place

that overlooks the ocean.

Hell, you can't see the ocean

from Bakersfield.

Well, maybe a pond, then.

I want to get one of those tables

with an umbrella over it...

...where we can sit with the baby

and watch the sun go down.

I've never lived anyplace

that didn't have wheels.

Hey. Hey.



Sometimes I wonder

Will I ever make it home


Sometimes I wonder

Will I ever make it home

I been gone so long


Hey, Novalee. Wake up!

You sound like a damn pig!

What the hell's the matter with you?

And where are your shoes?

That's just great. That's great.

My feet are swollen.

I had to take them off.



Want to feel the baby?


Feel that?



Right there.

Feel that little "bomp, bomp, bomp"?

That's where the heart is.

Couldn't prove it by me.

- Ooh!

- Would you...? The hell...?

Wal-Mart. I can go to the bathroom.




- All right, hurry up.

- Hon.

- I'm gonna need money.

- They gonna charge you to pee?

I have to get some house shoes.

I gotta get some kind of shoes.

- All right, get you some house shoes.

- Come on.

Get you some green polka dot

house shoes.

That way, everyone will be

sure to notice you.


Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers.

- Bathroom, bathroom?

- All the way back.

Thank you.

You got yourself

a beautiful child here.

An award-winning picture.

It might end up on a cereal box.

Steve, look at me.

Say "cheese" for me.



Do you mind?




Thank you.






- Hm?

Here's your change.

- Sorry.

Five dollars and 55 cents.



Ma'am. Ma'am?

You left these at the counter.

And your change.

Are you all right?


I just...

My boyfriend...

...went to get the car fixed.

He'll pick me up.

Well, have a nice day.


Ruth Ann Mott!

Just look at you.

Little Ruth Ann!

I haven't seen you

since your mama passed.

What's that, 10, 11 years?

- I'm not...

- Don't you remember?

I'm Sister Husband.

Oh, you remember me.

You used to call me "Telma" because

you couldn't say "Thelma."

Can you say "Thelma"?

- Thelma.

- Good. Oh.

Good Lord, look at you.

Having a baby.

You just move home, Ruth Ann?

See, I'm not...

You know what they say:

Home is where your history begins.

Home is where they catch you

when you fall.

That's what Brother Husband said.

Brother Husband?

Was he your husband?

No, he was my brother.

A real man of God.

You read the Bible?

Not as much as I should.

Good. I think that's good.

Folks read too much of it,

they get confused.

That's why I like to hand out just

one chapter at a time.

That way, folks can deal

with their confusion as it comes.

Come on. Come on.

You're coming with me. Come on.

I'm not gonna let you

get away empty-handed.

Now, on behalf of the Merchants

and Businessmen's Association...

...of the city of Sequoyah, Oklahoma,

I give you this basket of gifts...

...and merchandise.

- Thank you.

- Look, Ruth Ann.

You got discount coupons and matches,

a map of the city, emery boards.

Oh, yeah. Now, you see this

little appointment book?

I ran out of these last week, so I

had to put my appointments in one.

If you're not an alcoholic,

you'll know they aren't yours.

No, ma'am, I'm not.

Good. I think that's good.

Oh, oh, yeah, one more thing.


What is that?

This is a buckeye tree.

Brings you good luck.

Here, take it.


Well, goodbye, Ruth Ann.

It was real nice to see you again.

And welcome home!

I'm in the phone book.

You come and see me anytime you want.

And bring that baby.


Excuse me.

Would you like a picture of your baby?

I'm not... I mean, I'm still...

Well, I mean, after.

- Oh.

- Of course.

What kind of camera is that?

This is a Rollei. There are not many

made like this here.

It's a beauty.

My name is Moses. Moses Whitecotton.

Novalee Nation.

That's a good, strong name.

A name's important. Have you

picked out a name for your baby yet?

Well, I was thinking

about "Wendi" with an "I."

Oh, don't you dare. Give that baby

a name that means something.

A good, sturdy name.

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Lowell Ganz

Lowell Ganz is an American screenwriter, television writer, and television producer. He is the long-time writing partner of Babaloo Mandel. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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