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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.61%
Worth A Look45.77%
Just Average: 21.13%
Pretty Crappy: 2.82%
Sucks: 12.68%

13 reviews, 64 user ratings

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Nurse Betty
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by Jason Whyte

"Renee hasn't been this good ever since."
4 stars

Neil Labute's "Nurse Betty" is mainly about a confused waitress obsessed with a soap opera and criminals after her, but it has some wickely funny moments and some dazzling inventions of comic timing, but the most admiritave aspect of the film is a star-making role for Renee' Zellweger, in an award worthy performance as Betty, the title character.

Here is an actress who has been slowly gaining in supporting roles and some odd choices; her first major performance in Cameron Crowe's "Jerry Maguire," and then showing up in good films like "Deciever," "The Whole Wide World," and lately in the Farelly Brothers' "Me, Myself and Irene," which sadly did not let Renee her talents. With "Nurse Betty", Labute has helped mold Zellweger into a star. Her performances absolutely surprised me in her honesty, craziness, humour, and overall sexiness/cuteness (whichever you prefer, she works both ways).

Anyway. As the film opens, we see Betty as a happy waitress, obsessed with a daytime Soap Operas. So much so, in fact, that she knows how to pour coffee to customers without even looking; she never misses a moment. She pours coffee to two characters who are going to get involved very soon, pro-criminals with fake badges. It turns out that these two crooks, Charlie (Freeman) and Wesley (Rock) are after Betty's husband (Labute regular Aaron Eckhart, in a wonderful, Labute-styled supporting role) on a drug deal. Betty's husband gets killed after trying to stiff them of the drugs.

Here is where the film gets interesting. Betty is obsessed with soaps, and after the killing, her mind gets confused and sets off to LA to meet her "ex-fiancee" character on TV, Dr. Ravell (Greg Kinnear), who she is obsessed with, and the murder has put her into the mindset that she was really engaged to him. Meanwhile, Charlie and Wesley are after Betty, Charlie who falls in love with Betty after consistent staring at a picture taken of her; Wesley meanwhile has some secrets of his own, and is testing Charlie's patience with his wild attitude and inability to learn how to be a crook and remain calm.

There's so much storyline in the film that I must stop there, but it is such a big story in only 110 minutes. Labute wisely keeps the momentum flowing, in a more lively way than his last two films: the masterpiece "In The Company of Men," a shattering look at men-against-women in the workplace, and "Your Friends and Neighbours," an equally shattering if sometimes pretentious look at married couples at their ends. A casual filmgoer would never realize that Labute was responsible for those two films by watching this one.

Imperfections are few but noticeable; I just wish that Labute would have stayed away from the graphic, gory aspects of the film, which I felt was a tad too superfluous and unnecessary; it just halted the film from being crazy and funny at the same time. There's a scene where a character loses parts of his body by an enraged character, and I'm thinking that the character could have been shot off screen and have gotten the same effect.

However, Labute works wonders with his actors. It all comes back to Zellweger who is, as previously mentioned, wonderful as Betty. However, another award worthy performance sneaks in, by Morgan Freeman, who is terrfic is Charlie; watch for his moments towards the end with Betty, they are surprisingly heartwarming. Chris Rock gives terrific support as one of the more darker characters of the film, and Greg Kinner FINALLY is given the chance to let go and finally kick some tail in a wonderful turn as a stardom-obsessed actor. Allison Janney, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Aaron Eckhart and Crispin Glover give worthy support.

"Nurse Betty," besides the aforementioned graphic scenes, is a great film (it was on my Top 20 list for 2000), a wonderful story that is surprising in its honesty with Betty and Charlie as people both striving for lovers they can't have, and my thanks to Mr. Labute, who has reminded audiences of what Morgan Freeman means to us, and has revived Ms. Zellweger into super stardom. Exactly where she deserves to be.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3915&reviewer=350
originally posted: 08/01/05 18:44:12
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User Comments

9/12/17 morris campbell snide portrait of mental illness 1 stars
3/16/08 Pamela White Renee makes the movie 4 stars
2/09/07 Frank Rountree Entertaining, goofy movie, not bad 3 stars
7/17/06 David Cohen Mental illness, ain't it a hoot? 1 stars
12/15/05 R.W.Welch Has a delightfully flaky streak to it. Zellweger nails it here. 4 stars
10/10/05 Carolyn Rathburn Good film, didn't like the scalping part though 4 stars
8/08/05 C. Fidance I really liked it a lot. Thought it was fun to see Morgan in this kind of a role. 5 stars
8/06/05 Charlene Javier Renee before she sold-out. 4 stars
8/05/05 Nate Frary It was nice to see LaButte branch out a little. 4 stars
8/03/05 Carolyn Rathburn love Renee and Morgan, kind-of strange movie 4 stars
8/02/05 Eric Rollins Fine actors wasted on a mediocre story. 2 stars
2/01/04 Rocko gave me a head ache 1 stars
11/30/03 Mote Falange Incredibly original 5 stars
11/28/03 Samuel Chris Rock and Morgan Freeman save the film... 4 stars
7/05/03 Jack Sommersby Another meandering stink bomb from the talentless Neil LaBute. 1 stars
6/20/03 George Jung Amazing movie. 5 stars
4/30/03 R.W. Welch Works well in the early going but hits some false notes later on. Original though. 4 stars
11/20/02 Caiphn Not bad at all. 3 stars
8/24/02 Vito Pixie Even when Morgan Freeman shouts expletives, he's an incredible class act. Great performance 5 stars
8/05/02 Tulsa Slut Fractured bits of this&that add up to mildly amusing. 3 stars
6/04/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi very very very good 5 stars
5/20/02 siro The on-screen chemistry between Freeman and Rock is wonderful.... 5 stars
4/07/02 hum not what i expected. unusual and very good 4 stars
3/01/02 Chowie Very very very good 5 stars
1/05/02 Andrew Carden Reene Is Hard To Not Like...Such A Distinguished and Loveable Actress. 4 stars
12/03/01 Bada Bing Crosby Fantastic, memorable, unique and boy am I glad I liked it so much, it feels great 5 stars
10/21/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) One of the bloodiest, nastiest, freakiest flicks I've ever seen. 3 stars
9/05/01 luana very good 5 stars
8/16/01 Belinda Very over rated. Not the slightest bit funny. 1 stars
7/23/01 Bud A no brainer romp. A fun night out. Rene is just right. 3 stars
7/07/01 Don't waste your money on this one Even looking past all of the insults against midwesterners, I would still say it sucked. 1 stars
6/25/01 Hugo Felix - Southern California Great adventure. Good comic relief but induced reflection. 5 stars
6/16/01 artpaws Great concept; execution is TERRIBLE: pacing drawn out and lifeless 2 stars
4/30/01 Monday Morning The first violent chick flick I've encountered. Original story...should see just for that. 4 stars
4/08/01 PatrickG. Below average film, few laughs, overall boring! Stupid story! 2 stars
4/02/01 perverted pixie "I'm the law. I don't gotta do nothing." Sheer class. 5 stars
3/18/01 Shawn Chris Rock's talent was under-utilized. 3 stars
3/18/01 arcoiris original; slyly hilarious 4 stars
3/14/01 k.j.tomko Average. 3 stars
2/20/01 Rich Did not get enough attention; Renee rules 4 stars
1/11/01 Matt69 The scalping scene fucking rocked. 3 stars
11/26/00 Cristopher Revilla interesing, you won't love it or hate it, you'll be neutral 4 stars
11/03/00 Rob Nothing like "Fargo". Walked out. Unbelievable, unfunny, actors sucked (except mulletboy) 1 stars
10/27/00 toe.3 WHY??? Who gave this guy the money for this?! 1 stars
10/16/00 master.node Distracting while you watch, but there's ultimately no depth to the movie. 3 stars
10/11/00 Mr. X It doesn't know what sort of movie it wants to be. 3 stars
10/04/00 Bonnie This is one of the most original films I've seen this whole year. 4 stars
9/25/00 YelloMiata@AOL.COM Close your eyes for five seconds, enjoy the rest of the movie. 4 stars
9/24/00 malcolm MsAsh, above, is a dumb ass. 4 stars
9/17/00 Suzz has an "American Beauty" quality about it in the juxtapositioning of extreme violence with 4 stars
9/17/00 McAss Harrison Ford is the killer! 4 stars
9/16/00 KAM What's w/all the hype? This movie is not that good 3 stars
9/15/00 john smith i loved it ...Fargoish and then some ... just loved it 5 stars
9/14/00 mary collins would have been comical if annoying nurse had been viciously killed 1 stars
9/14/00 Jeppe Very good - feelgood, excellent casting, nice twisty plot. 4 stars
9/13/00 PJ Freeman is perfect, the direction is great, and the comedy works big time, really funny. 4 stars
9/12/00 Jokko You guys are holding the marketing against it. That's too bad. Freeman rocks. Great script. 4 stars
9/12/00 Movie Freek sorry. best film of the year as far as i'm concerned :) 5 stars
9/11/00 tnt a very forgetable film 2 stars
9/10/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble There should be a nurse in all theaters to revive all comatose movie goers during this film 1 stars
9/09/00 chuck Where was the comedy? 1 stars
9/09/00 Austin its alright, this movie takes too long to get funny. 3 stars
9/09/00 jonnyA hee hee , 4 stars
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  08-Sep-2000 (R)


  23-Aug-2001 (M)

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