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Nurse Betty (2000)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  8 September 2000 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 29,243 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 262 user | 156 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

Comedy about a widow's post-traumatic obsession with a soap star.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Nurse Betty (2000)

Nurse Betty (2000) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Roy Ostery
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Chloe Jensen
Susan Barnes ...
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Storyline

A Kansas City waitress with dreams of becoming a nurse becomes delusional after seeing her no-good car salesman husband murdered. Becoming delusional from shock, she becomes convinced that she is the former fiancée of her soap opera idol. What she also believes is that the soap opera is real and goes to LA to find the hospital where he works as a cardiologist. Meanwhile, her husband's murderers are searching for the drugs stolen by her husband and, as luck would have it, they are stored in the trunk of the car she drove off in. Freeman, an aging hit man planning his retirement after this job, also becomes delusional about the woman he is tracking. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This September Get Ready For Nurse Betty. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

8 September 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Betty  »

Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£69,723 (UK) (1 September 2000)

Gross:

$25,167,270 (USA) (15 December 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production Designer Charles William Breen used The Wizard of Oz (1939) as inspiration for the look of the film. If you look closely, you'll find hidden references that pay homage to the 1939 film. See more »

Goofs

None of the computer monitors visible have power cables connected. See more »

Quotes

Betty Sizemore: Gosh! I haven't been this happy since I was 12.
George McCord: Okay, I'll bite. What happened when you were 12?
Betty Sizemore: I took my mom to Kansas City for Mothers' Day and I used the allowance I was saving. We went to lunch at Skies, this restaurant at the top of a building, and you can see the whole world from up there. It was our last special thing 'cause she died that year. It was a great day.
George McCord: You just gave me goose bumps from that. You know that? That is just great improv!
See more »

Connections

References The King of Comedy (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Cuando Me Quieres
Written by and Frankie Pine
Performed by Frankie
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User Reviews

 
Cute, edgy and very funny
10 August 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an adorable, if somewhat edgy, comedy from a clever and witty script by John C. Richards, crisply directed by the very talented Neil LaBute, proving that he can handle comedy just as adroitly as he can the art house movie.

Renée Zellweger stars as Betty Sizemore, a sort of Doris Day of the 21st century, a waitress from Kansas whose fantasy life centers around Dr. David Ravell (Greg Kinnear), star of a TV soap opera called, "A Reason to Live," to such a fanatical degree that she has memorized lines from the show after watching the tapes over and over again. (This will come in handy later on.)

Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock play a father-son team of cocaine-dealing hit men who ignite the premise of the movie by murdering Betty's slimy used car salesman husband, played by Aaron Eckhart, who starred in In the Company of Men (1997), also directed by Neil LaBute. Chris Rock is a comedic psychopath, and Freeman a fatherly murderer whose favorite dictum is "three in the head, you know they're dead." One of the amazing and characteristic things about Morgan Freeman is that even while playing a professional criminal, he manages to sound like the wisest, gentlest man you ever knew.

True, the plot relies heavily on co-incidence (Betty copping the keys to the Buick that just happens to have the goods in the trunk), precise timing (meeting Dr. David and entourage at exactly the right moment), and some questionable psychology (Betty's partial and convenient amnesia). But such contrivances should be written off as poetic license and ignored. After all, who would criticize Shakespeare for the tortured plots of his comedies? More significantly, what makes this work is the cleverness of the plot melded well with the personalities of the characters (while gently satirizing them), and some very funny dialogue. My favorite line is when Freeman, looking gravely at a picture of the disappeared little miss Nurse Betty, soberly remarks to Rock, "We may be dealing with a cunning, ruthless woman here." I wonder, could it be that some of the pseudonymous (and humorless) reviewers who trashed this movie here and at IMDb are jealous, out-of-work screen writers?

An observation and a question: Renée Zellweger has the kind of on-screen presence to delight the most jagged heart. And who really is the reigning queen of contemporary filmland comedy, Zellweger or Reese Witherspoon? They are both brilliant. Witherspoon is a little more over the top while Zellweger is more impish. It would be interesting to see them trade roles, say, Zellweger as goody-goody A-student Tracy Flick in Election (1999) and Witherspoon as Nurse Betty. Too bad something like that can't be done.

Incidentally, the song, "Ca Sera, Sera" heard in the background won an academy award for best song in the Hitchcock thriller, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), starring James Stewart and Doris Day. The reason it reappears here is not entirely clear, but the resemblance of the wonderfully naive Nurse Betty to the on- and off-screen Doris Day (who also had a hit recording of "Ca Sera, Sera,") goes beyond the strawberry blond hair to a kind of irrepressible innocence. In Nurse Betty, however, the Doris Day world of white picket fences and monogamy is given a contemporary spin. Although this is to some extent a romantic comedy, it is one in which the answer to the question, Who gets the girl? is one never seen in a Doris Day flick.

Bottom line: if you can watch this without laughing old loud and crying some real tears, you need to get your hard drive fixed.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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