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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 27.27%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 27.27%
Sucks: 4.55%

1 review, 16 user ratings

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Yes Nurse! No Nurse!
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by Collin Souter

"A full-length feature musical in search of a half-hour sitcom pilot"
2 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2003 CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: It’s simple: You’ll either be caught up in the spirit of “Yes Nurse! No Nurse!” or you’ll be put off completely and eventually bored to tears. I really wanted to like this movie. It starts off promising enough with a bawdy and pitch-perfect rendition of an old style Busby Berkley musical number, signaling a throwback to the Golden Age of the Hollywood Musical in the same way “Down With Love” emulated those awful Doris Day/Rock Hudson comedies of the ‘60s. Unlike that cheeky comedy from last summer, “Yes Nurse” wears out its welcome after about the third musical number.

“Yes Nurse,” I have read, is based on an old Dutch TV series (of the same name, I’m guessing). I have no idea if that show had musical numbers or not. The featherweight plot to this movie certainly lends itself to musical padding, but the characters don’t warrant our concern for more than a few minutes after our introduction to them. If it weren’t for the musical numbers, the movie would be reduced to nothing more than a TV pilot. It’s got wacky neighbors, pratfalls, attempted burglaries, magic pills and a court hearing. Not exactly the stuff of an “international cult classic waiting to happen,” as the festival guide says (Can there really be such a thing as an international cult classic?).

The story opens with a court hearing as a crotchety old crank, Mr. Boordevol, wants to have his next door neighbor’s rest home shut down due to the fact that nobody actually rests. The home, run by no-nonsense saint Nurse Klivia, gives shelter to an odd assortment of middle-aged locals, most notably a scientist hell-bent on creating a pill that makes mean people nice for a change.

Meanwhile, a strapping and charming young man named Gerrit moves into the house after trying to sneak in and meet the lovely Jet, a woman who won his heart earlier in the afternoon. Gerrit and Jet become our young lovers in this movie and we see most everything through their eyes. Gerrit has a past as a burglar thanks to the upbringing of his Grandfather. Meanwhile, Mr. Boordevol (a human Jar-Jar Binks if there ever was one) becomes the inadvertent guinea pig for that special pill. He starts acting nice and everyone wonders what could possibly be wrong with him.

If all of this sounds too loosely connected, that’s because it is and the musical numbers don’t help. They vary in style, from the “Singin’ In the Rain”-inspired simplicity of the meet-cute between Jet and Gerrit to the Time Warp-esque dance instructions to Twip, Twip, Twip (complete with God-awful breakdancing interlude). The rest lack innovation, inspiration or meaning. An hour into the movie, Gerrit’s Grandfather gets introduced, so they sing a song about him. At another point, Gerrit leaves the home, causing everyone to sing about how disappointed they have become in him. On top of that, we get a love song to a gaggle of filthy pigeons. Filthy, filthy pigeons.

After a while, I became so disenchanted with “Yes Nurse,” that I started to close my eyes so I could listen for English nonsense to come out of the Dutch language (Highlights include: “Giblets and facials in my hairnet,” “Pint of Nietzsche sloth” and “Slap me a quack-fuck!”). The good thing about a bad musical being in a foreign language is that one does not have to worry about any songs being stuck in the head for days and days on end, but the rest of the experience will also likely drift over you. “Yes Nurse” just doesn’t have the high style, the goofiness or the audacity that made last year’s French musical import “8 Women” such an unexpected, campy treat.

Of course, “Yes Nurse” does not aim for greatness, just a good time. I like a musical once in a while. As a “Rocky Horror” alumni and as a person who openly admits to his favorite DePalma movie being “Phantom of the Paradise,” I walked into “Yes Nurse” ready for a good time. The movie drags on endlessly and just when you think it’s over, in walk more characters, each one less relevant than the last. While I would love to give the team an A for effort, I gotta say that I’m just not Down With it.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8249&reviewer=233
originally posted: 10/07/03 21:48:06
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/21/05 Bill Prwitzkofki very, very boring 1 stars
2/24/05 Marshall loved the theatrical release; poor DVD color transfer washes out candy cane colors 4 stars
11/01/04 Patrick FYI: Original series had musical numbers, this is a "Mama Mia"-style compilation of those. 4 stars
9/08/04 Carl Deliriously goofy, loved it. 5 stars
3/28/04 Liew 5 STAR !!! 5 stars
3/28/04 Yee Chin I love it !!! 5 stars
3/28/04 Kong Poh It's quite fun to watch ... :P 5 stars
3/17/04 Maggie Leong bright colors, cheerful and funny! 4 stars
2/11/04 irene I enjoyed it. 4 stars
1/30/04 Jon Bourgault It's sugary sweet, to be sure, but I found the film to be a pure camp confectionery delight 5 stars
1/12/04 Robin Thorne Collin needs to take a sourpuss pill and lighten up! This film is delightful! 5 stars
12/07/03 Yaya I think it's quite a musical. Funny and interesting 5 stars
12/05/03 Rudi very nice 5 stars
11/15/03 David While at times it did drag, it was enjoyable 4 stars
11/12/03 ron lussier amazingly fun and silly! 4 stars
11/04/03 Jenny Rose i absolutely adore this film, it is simply charming. i left the theaters radiatingly happy 5 stars
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