Nurse Betty
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

This is one weird, whacked-out movie. Think Pulp Fiction crossed with The Truman Show. Nurse Betty is the story of a waitress named Betty (Rene Zellweger) whose philandering husband (Aaron Eckhart) is mixed up with some bad people. Enter a couple of hitmen a la John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. Here, they are played with panache by Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock. Ok. I'll leave out a few details here, remember the Pulp Fiction reference, but the next thing we know a traumatized Betty is driving across country on her way to meet Dr. David Ravell (Greg Kinnear) with Freeman and Rock in hot pursuit. Ravell is a character in her favorite soap opera but Betty has decided that `One Reason To Live' is the real world. The action here is a bit uneven. It takes Betty and the boys so long to get to California that you could have gone to the bathroom and got some popcorn and not missed anything.  But the cast is so compelling and the story so strange that you want to stay and see how it comes out.  Nurse Betty is directed by Neil LaBute who made a big splash with his first two features, In the Company of Men, and Your Friends and Neighbors. He seems to specialize in portraying dysfunctional people but he takes it to a whole new level in Nurse Betty.  Everyone is good but Freeman and Rock as the hitmen, one about to retire, one just starting out, steal the film. Morgan Freeman is so good he could be reading from the phonebook and make it riveting. Here, he has a nice chemistry with Rock who gives a very controlled performance.  Zellweger is good as usual but doesn't do much in this role except stare off into  space vacantly. The supporting cast are all familiar faces. Kinnear does well as the soap opera star. Aaron Eckhart ,who plays Zellweger's husband, is apparently LaBute's favorite actor having now appeared in all three of his films. And look for Crispin Glover. He wins the `Karen Allen where have you been all these years award' which he wins jointly this year with Karen Allen. Back in 1985, Glover gave one of the weirdest but best performances in Back to the Future as Michael J. Fox's father. I would go to see Nurse Betty even if it's just to see Morgan Freeman staring out of the screen at you with those eyes of his.