Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities
She's chasing a dream. They're chasing her.
The popular daytime TV drama A reason to love has an especially devoted viewer in Betty Sizemore (Renée Zellweger), a young woman with a good heart and a bad marriage. Her no-good car salesman husband, Del (Aaron Eckhart), treats her like dirt and forgets her birthday. At home one night watching a videotape of that day's episode, Betty watches raptly as her favourite character, Doctor David Ravell (Greg Kinnear), stares up at the moon and says, "I know there's someone special out there for me." Betty feels as if he's speaking directly to her. That is, until her husband comes home with two men to negotiate a shady business deal. As she tries to watch her show, Betty becomes an accidental witness to this deal going fatally awry: Del offends courtly hit-man Charlie (Morgan Freeman) and his excitable protégé Wesley (Chris Rock), and is violently dispatched.
Betty, traumatised by this savage event, enters into a fugue state that allows - even encourages - her to keep functioning... in a kind of alternate reality. Betty Sizemore becomes Nurse Betty, who is set on returning to the love of her life, Doctor Ravell, whom she jilted at the altar six years ago. Betty promptly leaves Kansas in a "borrowed" 1997 Buick Lesabre - which is precisely what her late husband's killers are looking for. They, in turn, set off after Betty, followed also by Fair Oaks Sheriff Ballard (Pruitt Taylor Vince) and local reporter Roy Ostrey (Crispin Glover), who are investigating Del's murder and Betty's sudden, unexplained disappearance.
Betty arrives in Los Angeles to search for her beloved Doctor Ravell, who is played on A reason to love by actor George McCord (Greg Kinnear); she's reluctantly aided in this quest by her new friend, Rosa Herrera (Tia Texada). As Betty makes contact with Doctor Ravell/George McCord and the hit-men slowly but surely track her down, life begins to imitate art... and vice versa.
Persons of interest
- Morgan Freeman .... Charlie
- Renée Zellweger .... Betty Sizemore
- Chris Rock .... Wesley
- Greg Kinnear .... Dr David Ravell/George McCord
- Aaron Eckhart .... Del Sizemore
- Tia Texada .... Rosa Hernandez
- Crispin Glover .... Roy Ostery
- Pruitt Taylor Vince .... Sheriff Eldon Ballard
- Allison Janney .... Lyla Branch
- Kathleen Wilhoite .... Sue Ann Rogers
- Elizabeth Mitchell .... Chloe Jensen
- Susan Barnes .... Darlene
- Harriet Sansom Harris .... Ellen
- Sung Hi Lee .... Jasmine
- Laird Macintosh .... Dr Lonnie Walsh/Eric
- John C Richards .... Screenwriter
- James Flamberg .... Screenwriter
- Neil Labute .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Awards and film festivals:
- Cannes Film Festival 2000: Best screenplay
- Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes) 2000: Best actress
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Yes, siree, Bob, Nurse Betty is a witty little tale of anger, attraction and obsession. It's funny, clever, sufficiently real to appease your bullshit detector and just farcical enough to make it worth watching. Betty's tragic life slowly becomes a bizarre world where fantasy and reality are indistinguishable (that's Hollywood to the rest of you).
Renée Zellweger carries the burden of acting with no trouble. The rest of the cast are little more than foils for her madness, although Greg Kinnear's doctor and actor make a charming study in contrasts. He does both cute and stupid very well.
Nurse Betty has no outstanding moments but it does maintain a high average. It will appeal to the more feminine half of the planet, plus anyone who's ever been addicted to daytime soap operas.
What I am still to figure out is how people in the real world ever mistake the characters in TV programs for real people. I know that half the world has an IQ that's below average but surely they can't believe that anything on TV is truthful. They can't!
Media intelligence (DVD)
- Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Disc: Single side, single layer
- Special features:
- Commentary: Renée Zellweger, Morgan Freeman, Chris rock, Greg Kinnear, Neil Labute; director, producer, composer, director of photography, costume designer
- Deleted scenes
- Soap opera segments
- Trailers: Theatrical
- Languages: English
- Picture: 16:9 anamorphic Widescreen
Security censorship classification
M (Medium level violence, medium level coarse language)
106 minutes (1:46 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
Film: 23 August 2001
DVD rental: 6 February 2002
DVD retail: 8 April 2002