Jeff Pearlman

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The irresistability of “Where The Heart Is”


This morning I had to get up. I needed to get up. There was work. My kids. My wife. And yet, on TV, there was the final 20 minutes of “Where The Heart Is.”

I stayed in bed.

I love “Where The Heart Is.” Love it. Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd, coping to find themselves in the midst of bleak Oklahoma nothingness. Natalie gives birth to her daughter, Americus, in a Wal-Mart. Ashley is beat up by her boyfriend. In the end, of course, love finds its way. Natalie becomes a photographer, marries Forney, lives the good life, so on and so on.

Truth is, I’m a 37-year-old man who loves the chick flicks. Not stupid ones starring Sandra Bullock (who has starred in some of the worst films known to man). And not self-professed “great date movies.” No, I like chick flicks—movies aimed toward women and their emotions. Perhaps it’s because my mother, in acknowledging the fact that neither of her kids were girls, raised me as her daughter. Perhaps it’s because I’m a sensitive soul with a tender touch. Perhaps it’s because, as my former college roommate used to say, “You’re a f—ing p—y, Pearl.” Whatever the case, I dig ’em.

Here are my Top 5:

1. A Walk To Remember: Mandy Moore is a small-town Christian girl/reverend’s daughter afraid to fall in love. Shane West is the dickhead popular kid. Together, she dies of leukemia, but only after a really, really, really nice wedding.

2. Terms of Endearment: I’m guessing even Mike Tyson would cry at this one—Emma Horton dying, saying farewell to her kids from the hospital bed. An all-time tear jerker.

3. Steel Magnolias: Before Julia Roberts sucked, she was a little-known actress dying after a haircut.

4. Where The Heart Is: Simply the best-ever movie about an Oklahoma Wal-Mart.

5. Friday The 13th: Part VIII: This is the one where Jason takes Manhattan. Best scene is where he gets in a boxing match with the token black character, and punches the dude’s head off his shoulders. Hence, the producers could say, “Hey, we had a black character, and he could have done more, but, well, his head was punched off.”*

* That said, an actor can go 40 years and never utter a line as good as, “Take your best shot, motherf—er!”

  • “Together, she dies of leukemia,”

    Was this movie about the Siamese (or conjoined) Twins Chang and Eng?

    BTW, your roommate was right.

  • (the other) Jeff Pearlman

    I am regretting the fact that this is going to be my first comment on your blog, but;

    Im going to have to add Definitely Maybe? I know its a new one, but damn is it a good one.

    Im with you on the chick flicks, Jeff.

  • Trev

    I think the best thing about that Jason clip is the fact that Jason went with the “Rope a Dope” strategy.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life