Cute, and with some
really heartfelt moments, but essentially it was turned into a movie
about figuring out you love someone right in front of your eyes.
To be honest, the movie got better after Novalee had the baby.
Unfortunately, as brilliant an actress as Natalie Portman is, she has a
hard time looking older. Five years were supposed to pass in the
movie, but she barely seemed to age.
What the makeup people decided to do was make her look younger
and very "cute" at the beginning of the movie, which only made the boyfriend
look like an idiot for getting her pregnant in the first place.
But is she ever gorgeous! She was always beautiful, something
about the eyes, I think. And she is really growing into a beautiful
woman. But she has a smile that tells her age, and makes her look
like a young teen.
Anyway, the story is about the life of Novalee Nation, between
one boyfriend, who gets her pregnant, and another, who really wants to
take care of her child.
She is of course abandoned in a Wal-Mart, when her boyfriend
gets spooked about the baby. She lives there for six weeks, tallying
what she owes to the store as she uses it. It can't be a healthy
diet, that's for sure! And I don't want to buy that sleeping bag
she was using all the time, especially after her water broke! Of
course, that happens in the middle of the night, with the store all locked
up, but the brave soul who gets to deliver her baby is the librarian, who
jumps through the plate-glass window to save her.
She is an instant celebrity, both a hit and for death threats.
Americus Nation grows into a very cute child. Novalee's mother had
run away from her when she was five. She returns after the baby is
born, only to steal away with Novalee's five hundred celebrity dollars.
So Novalee ends up living with Sister Husband, who is very compassionate,
and very, very funny. ("Forgive us the fornication which we did on
this very table" goes a breakfast prayer!) But Sister Husband dies
when a tornado strikes, leaving Novalee once again homeless. But
not without means. She is left with forty five thousand dollars from
Husband's will. She uses it to start a new life, and build a new
house, and buy a new car. I didn't know money could stretch that
far. Friends did most of the work on the house, but still...
Novalee grows close to the librarian (actually the librarian's
brother, but I don't want to go into that), but believes him to be simply
an amazing friend. When his sister dies, they make love, but he goes
back to college on the east coast; she lets him go by telling him that
she doesn't love him.
Her friend, played by Ashley Judd, knows her true heart, and
urges her to tell him the truth. Judd's character seems to get pregnant
by looking at a man! She starts off with four kids, and gains two
more of her own during the movie, and marries into two more later!
Her life is tragic, as one of her live-in boyfriends molests her kids.
In the end, though, she seems to be in a very loving relationship.
That leaves Novalee sad and lonely. But she happens on
an article in the newspaper about a guitarist who had his wheelchair stolen.
As she received so much charity when she had her child, something draws
her to this man, who is nobody less than the man who got her pregnant.
His lost chance at having a life with her prompts her to drive east, so
that she doesn't lose her chance with the man she suddenly realizes she
loves more than anybody.
I have to assume that they live happily ever after. And
have more kids!
Novalee starts off with a tragic life, but builds it stronger
and stronger, feeding off the joy her daughter has given her. The
story was cute, and engaging, but I don't think it gave quite enough.
It was definitely worthwhile, and I enjoy watching Portman act any time.