Nurse Betty (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|Renee Zellweger plays a sweet
housewife/waitress (Betty) marrried to a slimebag used
car dealer. When some of his outside activities run afoul
of major criminals, a couple of hit men off him. Betty
witnesses the murder, and her way to repress the memory
is for her mind to leave the real world and enter into
the cast of her favorite soap opera. She gets into a car
and drives to L.A., secure in her assumption that she is
the long-lost fiancee of the show's star. (Greg Kinnear)
This doesn't sit well with the murderers, for two reasons (1) she is a witness to the murder (2) the car she takes is the one filled with their contraband
the film - Betty crosses the country in search of her
imaginary doctor/lover, and the hitmen cross the country
in search of her.
For one of the hitmen, an older fellow about to retire, she represents some kind of a rhapsodic last victim. He dreams about her, imagines her motivations, even dances with her on the edge of the Grand Canyon.
has a dreamy otherworldly quality about it, so that even
in the scenes where everyone recognizes the same reality,
it doesn't seem to be our reality.
The people that Zellweger meets along the way all accept her lunacy because she's just so gosh darn cute, and Kinnear is so self absorbed that he doesn't even realize that she's loony. He just thinks she's a method actress, trying for a role on the show, and never slipping out of character. I guess we're supposed to realize that in L.A. she doesn't really seem too strange after all.
|Most critics loved this
film, finding it original and offbeat and charming. It
didn't work for me. I didn't really see the charm of
Zellweger's comic book innocence, and I really had a hard
time accepting the tone shifts from brutal grisly murder
scenes to Doris Day cutie-pie scenes. Imagine Shirley
Temple in a Quentin Tarantino film.
Mostly, though, I felt that it broke the same unity as Lost Souls, the one that says horror movies have to be scary and comedies have to be funny. I sat there thinking, "Yeah, I guss this is kinda cute and fresh, but on the box it said it was a comedy ...."
So, I guess it didn't mesh with my sense of humor, but let me hasten to add that it was popular with critics, and has high ratings at IMDb and Apollo as well.
Note to Chris Rock: you may be the funniest guy in the world, and I'm a big fan, but there is a major difference between being a comic and being a comic actor.
Return to the Movie House home page