poor folk are so fucking cute. We're like a big burlap sack full
of kittens, all wriggly and cuddly and helpless. "Where the
Heart Is" makes us out to be a bunch of simple-minded honest
folk with the personalities of moon pie. We're cute and nothing
fucks will see this movie and think "Aww, those poor people
are so adorable. Let's get some of them to clean the yard and
live in our alley."
the Heart Is" was written by schlockmeisters Babaloo Mandel
and Lowell Ganz, and directed by Matt Williams, formerly a producer
of "Roseanne." Fuck it, if you want to laugh at poor
people, go sit in your Wal-Mart parking lot because those folks
are a lot funnier and more realistic than the dressed-down playacting
Portman is Novalee Nation, the first of many cornball characters
with wacky names and no genuine or interesting characteristics.
While seven months pregnant, her boyfriend dumps her at a Wal-Mart
in the middle of Donkeyfuck, Arkansas. With no place to go, she
lives in the Wal-Mart, keeping track of how much she owes for
all the shit she steals, and gives birth to a baby right there
in the outdoor furniture section. Now, I've seen some teen kids
on the patio furniture looking like they were making babies, but
I've never seen anyone have one there, yet. You never know though,
becomes a celebrity and a Wal-Mart employee, all the while meeting
hillbilly "characters" who just have so much fucking
goodness in their hearts that it pours out faster than their sweat.
There's Stockard Channing as "Sister Husband" who drives
around in a Ford truck made up to look like a covered wagon. There
is another character "Moses Something or other," the
mandatory kindhearted black man who takes Portman under his wing.
It's like every cheesy actor in Hollywood who had a shitty hillbilly
accent and corn-pone sensibility showed up to get some piece of
this sweet potato pie.
movie drags and drags, just jumping from one big melodrama to
the next without giving a high fucking hoot about the audience's
need for coherence or character arc. There are three ambulance
emergencies. There is a superlame looking tornado that spawns
an "inspirational" death, there is the "bad"
ex-boyfriend who, after getting his legs chopped off, redeems
himself. And there is the mom who only wants Portman's newfound
money. But the main gist is that the local librarian, a freaky
looking guy played by James Frain wants to bang the snot out of
Portman and he's the only decent guy for miles around. Plus, he's
the only guy in town "who done been to the university college
school." Despite loving him, Portman fears he's too good
for her, so she pushes him away. Guess what happens in the end?
But only after a confrontation so heavy with shit dialog that
I could smell it.
I forgot the fucking half-assed subplots involving Ashley Judd
as a woman who gets knocked up more than the door of a Jehovah
Witness's neighbor. She can't, or as she says "cain't",
find a good man. She finally does, and we know he's good because
he's an ugly doofus. See, in the retarded world of Ganz and Mandel,
ugly men and pretty women have good hearts. Handsome men and ugly
women are bad.
some unexplained reason, the bad boyfriend who bailed out on Portman
has his own story told alongside the main plot. It's his rise
and fall as a bad country singer, climaxing with a wonderful leg-chopping
scene. Portman lost this fucker ten minutes into the story, so
why can't the movie? Well, because there has to be a touching
scene at the end where they reconcile and Portman shows us all
how strong she is now. And, we're supposed to worry that she will
go back to him, not to Frain. Duh. But the movie even fucks up
is the lazy fucking dream of Hollywood dipshits who think they
know poverty because they watch "Married with Children."
They make the poor man's world out to be some sort of trailer
park Shangri-La. I say to the Babaloos and Mandels of this world,
come on down to the Arvada Tavern on a Friday night and find out
exactly what poor people are like. Mostly, we're pissed and tired,
and pretty drunk. And we'll only help another poor person if they
really need help, but we're not driving around in a truck that
looks like a covered wagon looking for opportunities. That cuts
into our "Judge Judy" time.
the Heart Is" packages us poor folk like we're sweet hicks
who don't care about money. In real life, some of us are dumb,
but we're not so dumb as to buy this Hollywood shit. And we aren't
all sweet. We're not poor because we're too busy helping others,
it's mostly because, unlike the assholes in Hollywood, we haven't
figured out an easy way to screw other poor people out of their
money. Who do you think is calling the Psychic Hotline? Who do
you think actually believes he can make money while losing weight?
And who is actually responding to e-mail that says "MAKE
$33,000 IN TEN DAYS!" It's stupid fucking poor people, the
same ones that'll steal their neighbors lawn sprinkler if they
can get away with it. Yeah, we have our good sides, but we are
not these picayune characters who spout wisdom without even knowing
it. And we don't appreciate writers making us up while they sit
in some air-conditioned office in California.
is the focus of this awful movie. The Wal-Mart in Donkeyfuck is
a really clean place jam-packed with nice people always helping
out. In "Where the Heart Is", the store has no screaming
kids, no floors covered with crushed up animal crackers, no banged-up
merchandise or surly employees. There are no moments where there
are twenty customers and only two cash registers open. The fucking
makers were so afraid to piss off Wal-Mart that they made the
joint into Disneyland.
here, everybody hates the place, but we got no choice. Poor people
have to buy cheap shit in bulk, and we have to go to Wal-Mart
to do it. I hate the fucking place and I hate how every mother
there is pulling one kid's arm out of its socket while she's wailing
on another's head. I suppose, though, that rich assholes like
Mandel, Ganz and Williams, have never been in a Wal-Mart and can't
imagine the horrors and atrocities that lie within. I wonder how
much that company paid for this two-hour commercial.
think this movie would have sucked at 90 minutes, but the makers
tacked on an extra half-hour. They pack the whole sheebang full
of scenes that have no connection to the previous or the next.
One sequence has Portman's baby kidnapped. After five minutes
of hand-wringing, the baby is found alive. This sequence adds
nothing to what follows, and the only thing that precedes it is
some foreshadowing heavier than Tammy Faye's eye makeup.
will-they or won't-they relationship of Frain and Portman is excruciating
because the movie picks it up and drops it whenever convenient.
And it never makes any mystery of the fact they'll get married
in the end. Plus, Frain is supposed to be a wacky hermit. In the
first scene he is, and he's way over the top, acting like a fucking
goober weirdo. Then, suddenly, he's a normal guy. The makers couldn't
handle balancing a "good" character with a few bad characteristics
so they just dumped the weird act.
the end, Portman pushes him away so he goes back to college. He
must be at least 30 years old, but in the college scene, he's
shown hanging out with his classmates. On what fucking planet
is this taking place? At the junior college I attended briefly,
people who were thirty years old were pushed away and treated
like lepers. Fucking non-traditional students only cause problems,
ask too many questions, and do too well on tests.
acting is tedious. It's corn, corn and more corn. Up the ass,
in the mouth, out the ears, everywhere. It's "Petticoat Junction"
quality southern bull, with loads of twang and not a lot of believability.
Of course, lots of that is a result of the horseshit Babaloo and
Ganz expect them to cough up. With the exception of Portman, who
swims upstream against her dorky lines and the plot, the actors
haven't got a clue how poor people act or react. I will single
out Sally Fields for her five minute melodrama. She makes a sugar-baked
ham of herself by out-acting everyone else. I say we spiral cut
her ass and eat for weeks.
as I said before, the dialog is a mess. People just start saying
important shit for no reason. Conflict arises when one character
says something that is totally out of place. It's there because
the character had to say it in order for the other character to
say something pro-fucking-found. The writers and director are
very impressed with their ability to preach cliched wisdom that
is easily found on statuary at Hallmark.
not sure where the heart is, really, but I sure know you aren't
going to find it here, no matter how long you dig through the
shit. One fucking finger to Hollywood's finest assfucks.
Leave the poor people alone.
to tell Filthy Something?