Nurse Betty

2000

Nurse Betty (2000)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Quirky in the best sense of the word, Nurse Betty finds director Neil LaBute corralling a talented cast in service of a sharp, imaginative script.

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Movie Info

The winner of the Best Screenplay award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, this film is a darkly comic story about one woman's incredible determination to make her dreams come true against numerous odds. Fantasy collides with reality as Betty Sizemore, a small-town waitress and soap opera fan, inspires herself and everyone she meets to find at least a piece of their real selves throughout this romantic, dangerously funny road picture. The popular TV daytime drama "A Reason to Love" has an especially devoted viewer in Betty. One night, watching a videotape of that day's episode, she becomes an accidental witness to a deal going fatally awry for her no-good car salesman husband. Betty, traumatized, 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, the show's Dr. David Ravell. Betty promptly sets off for Los Angles in a "borrowed" 1997 Buick LeSabre - which is precisely what her late husband's killers are looking for. As Betty makes contact with Dr. Ravell and the hit men slowly but surely track her down, life begins to imitate art and vice versa.

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Critic Reviews for Nurse Betty

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (37)

Swerving from viciousness to whimsy to dubious feminist fable, Nurse Betty doesn't jell. Still, with a cast as charmed as this, it comes oh so close.

Mar 6, 2018 | Full Review…
Newsweek
Top Critic

The actors hold the movie together, particularly Ms. Zellweger and Mr. Freeman, whose characters achieve a remarkable intimacy in a most unlikely situation.

Apr 27, 2007 | Full Review…
Observer
Top Critic

In his third, most accomplished film, LaBute puts aside the inquiry of misogyny that dominated his previous work and immerses himself in a lighter romantic fable about the collision of fantasy and reality, with a terrific performance from Renee Zelwegger

Jul 23, 2006 | Rating: B+
Variety
Top Critic

Almost every emotion and action on view is presented as false, idiotic or superficial.

Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

LaBute didn't write Nurse Betty, but his fierce comic touch is, luckily, all over this movie.

May 10, 2001 | Rating: 5/5

A triumph for Mr. LaBute as it is for its cast, because its success is so dependent on its sustaining a precarious balance between humor and pathos, realism and fantasy.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4.5/5

Audience Reviews for Nurse Betty

Not quite the 5 star movie I remembered, but still a pretty good one. Am rewatching some of my old DVDs and really enjoying them. Renee zellweger really was a good actress (still is, but I did like her earlier roles).

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

½

Neil LaBute's "Nurse Betty" is a remarkable film. While LaBute takes a lot from The Coen Brothers (determinism, shades of existential violence, a dash of film noir) and David Lynch (the collision of fantasy and reality) which cements his role as opportunist rather than auteur, "Nurse Betty" remains fresh, vibrant and funny. The film incredibly manages to balance three completely different avenues and makes them cohesive. You have hit men Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock in one section, the psychotically broken Betty and her adventures in Los Angeles in another and then characters from small town Kansas rounding things out. The film manages to find a way to intertwine these aspects in a satisfying and intriguing way, always remembering the the truth behind this wacky scenario. "Nurse Betty" shouldn't work, it should have been a massive, convoluted mess. But it's not. It's an incredibly sly, biting and extremely heartfelt picture with a dynamite Renee Zellweger at it's center.

Steven Carrier
Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

A biting dark comedy with a refreshingly odd premise, "Nurse Betty" is another truly original film from director Neil LaBute. Like most of his films (INCLUDING "The Wicker Man") you sometimes don't know when to laugh, cry, or cringe... but that is precisely what makes (most of) his films so memorable and wonderful. Indeed, "Nurse Betty" is a wonderful film; easily ranking with LaBute's best. Stellar writing, colorful characters, and hilariously awkward situations abound, while Renee Zellweger has never been more lovable, infectious, or charismatic as she is here. A great, slightly-twisted chunk of entertainment.

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer

Charlie: 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. A dark hitman comedy, mixed with a light, delusional adventure quest. Freeman and Rock are hilarious as proffesional hit men that travel all over the country to figure out what the hell is up with Renee Zellweger as Betty. Betty, who was a waitress obsessed with a soap opera, spends most of the movie mezmorized after a traumatizing event, and she does it well. It's a fun offbeat comedy, mixing lives of hit men and a shell shock vitcim. Greg Kennear also stars as the actor staring in the soap opera. When he comes on screen as the actor, Kinnear does what he's good at, being a Greg Kinnear asshole character. Betty Sizemore: My friend says if you were any more handsome it would be a crime. It's a shame you're such an asshole. Plenty of moments make this a fun movie to watch. Betty Sizemore: He also works at Loma Vista. Chief Nurse Iris Foster: What is that? Betty Sizemore: It's the real pretty area, with the palm trees out front and the mountains in the background. Chief Nurse Iris Foster: You have just described all of southern California.

Aaron Neuwirth
Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

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