Movie Reviews: Nurse Betty




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     USA Films (1 hr. 50 min.)
     A widow suffering from post-traumatic has a difficult time distinguishing fantasy from reality is stocked by two hit men.
     Rene Zellweger, Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock, Greg Kinnear
Bottom Line:


   Nurse Betty is a dark and whimsical comedy with an acid taste for audiences due to its bittersweet storyline.
   Director Neil LaBute does an excellent job of mixing the film’s humor and dramatic violence.
   However, like the Cohen brother’s Fargo, LaBute’s violence can be so grisly the film might be too intense for young kids or squeamish adults.
   The crux of the story hinges on the parallel relationship of its two main characters, a naive small town waitress named Betty (Rene Zellweger) and a hitman, Charlie (Morgan Freeman). Both are romantic dreamers trying to obtain the inner peace of an elusive fantasy world.
   Betty sees the world through rose-colored glasses and hard-core Freeman ends up trying to see the world through her apple-pie view.
   Freeman and his loose-cannon partner Wesley (Chris Rock) brutally murder Betty’s vulgar husband Del (Aaron Eckhart) after a drug deal goes sour. Betty is the unfortunate witness to her husband’s murder. She immediately blocks the event from her memory and turns to the only consolation she has in her life -- a daily soap opera.
   Like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ, Betty leaves Kansas, albiet in her husband’s car, not knowing that the vehicle is loaded with drugs. Her destination is the bright lights and big city atmosphere of Los Angeles in search of her Prince Charming, Dr. David Ravell (Greg Kinnear) a soap opera M.D. on her favorite soap.
   When Betty arrives in Los Angeles, she seeks out her fantasy lover Dr. Ravell at a Hollywood party. Ravell has no idea that Betty is mentally ill, and thinks she’s a brilliant method actress. Fascinated Ravell takes her out on several dates. He finally gets her an audition on the soap opera which backfires with disastrous results.
   When Charlie and Wesley arrive in Los Angeles, they discover that Betty is suffering from post-traumatic stress, but despite her mental lapse they decide she’s still a dangerous witness who might yet identify them.
   Nurse Betty plays against the typically Hollywood formula. Many of its twists and turns are unsettling. However, it’s also deep and touching. And like Dorothy, Betty is vulnerable to big city ways, and her Prince Charming's romantic salvation isn’t always clearly defined.



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