"Dark, dangerous and charming--what else do you need?"
One would expect a movie directed by Neil LaBute to be somewhat disturbing, but charming and unexpected at the same time?Renee Zellweger is cast as Betty, the sweet, down-trodden waitress from Kansas who just needs a break in life. Betty doesn’t expect much, just to finish her nursing degree and not miss her favorite tv soap opera. She’s married to Del Sizemore, a used car salesman with one of the best mullets I’ve ever seen on screen. An encounter with post-traumatic stress disorder puts Betty on the path to both her life-long dream of nursing and to meet her favorite soap star, the hunky Dr. David Ravell (Greg Kinnear.)
The story’s progression is at times unbelievable and life-affirming. How on earth can a deranged soap opera fan restore your faith in the human race? John Richards has done a splendid job blending black comedy and a cinderella story. The lighting reflects the dark humor but adds credibility to the scenario.
The film is framed by an outstanding supporting cast. Each character, from Allison Janney to Crispin Glover, gives the story an air of authenticity and humor. Tia Texada, as Rosa, is particularly amusing. Renee brings her innocent persona to the storyline. You might think you're tired of seeing her in roles that require naivete, but she's very good as the off-her-rocker soap fan. Chris Rock and Morgan Freeman work so well together, don’t be surprised to see a new slew of pairings in the can shortly.
By now if you haven’t heard there’s a scalping scene, I’d be surprised.Be forewarned and the only sour note in the film won’t ruin the rest of the tale.