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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kathleen Wilhoite and Pruitt Taylor Vince guest appeared together in the Quantum Leap (1989) episode "Moments to Live", where Sam is kidnapped by an obsessed, and mentally unstable, soap opera fan. See more »
When Betty drives away from her town, she is shown passing a "welcome to Kansas" sign which is on passenger side of the road facing her, even though she later says it is the first time she has ever left Kansas. See more »
People who get the calls are good. Not flashy, good. They get in, they get out, nobody knows a goddamn thing. You understand? Boom, boom, boom. Three in the head, you know they're dead.
You know, that's kind of catchy.
Yeah? Well I'll make you a fucking bumper sticker.
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Inventive and weirdly funny throughout, but touching, too, and Zellweger amazes!
Nurse Betty (2000)
This is a sleeper, a dark comedy with enough inventive twists to call to mind The Truman Show but with a greater sense of reality to hold it down. Renee Zellweger is flawless as the naive, sweet, but utterly detached young woman named Betty who is addicted to a soap opera called "A Reason to Love." This seems sweet enough, but her husband is a jerk (totally) and things start to spiral, and get dizzy, as reality even for the viewer starts to shift ground.
Not that you are ever confused about what is happening or who the good guys are. The good guys are not Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock, for sure, as this unlikely and comedic father and son duo get involved, incidentally at first, in Betty's strange inner and outer life. A chase of sorts ensues, the soap opera becomes reality, and then reality becomes soap opera. And it's really hilarious and inventive and fast paced.
Is it a total work of genius? Probably not. Maybe Charlie Kaufman would have added another twist in there (I'm not sure how), and certainly some of the side characters could have seemed less cardboard, or less awkward as actors. But Zellweger is unbelievable (really, your jaw might drop at how convincing she could play her mental blindness, and her awakening, of sorts). And Morgan Freeman is his usually convincing and engaging self.
The utterly disgusting violence of one 20 second scene might turn off some viewers near the beginning, but if you can keep watching, the movie gets better from there. Much better.
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