New York Times - 09/08/2000
"...[NURSE BETTY] produces that shivery feeling when your heart melts but at the same moment you want to burst out laughing....Ms. Zellweger's Betty [is] a perfectly blended mixture of sweetness, innocence, and stubborn determination....A triumph..."
USA Today - 09/08/2000
"...Allows [Renée Zellweger] to pull out the emotional stops in a way that audiences can't help but find irresistible....Observing Zellweger as she dispenses her brand of movie magic definitely is good for what ails you."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 10/01/2000
"...Deserving of accolades....NURSE BETTY is alternately funny, scary and deeply poignant, and it confirms LaBute as one of the most exciting new talents to galvanize the movies..."
Entertainment Weekly - 09/22/2000
"...Zellweger is muffin-fresh....The lines between reality and fantasy, goodness and violence, have rarely been so beatifully drawn as in this tangy dark comedy..." -- Rating: A
Entertainment Weekly - 12/22/2000 Ranked #6 in Entertainment Weekly's "Lisa Schwarzbaum's BEST MOVIES OF 2000"
Rolling Stone - 09/28/2000
"...Zellweger is a dream -- funny, touching and vital in a role that lets her talents blossom....As ever, Freeman delivers miracles; he's as good as it gets..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/08/2000
"...LaBute sidesteps cliches like a broken-field runner....NURSE BETTY is one of those films where you don't know whether to laugh or cringe, and find yourself doing both. It's a challenge..."
Total Film - 04/01/2001
"...Original and unusually humane....A compelling oddity..."
When small-town waitress Betty Sizemore (Renée Zellweger) accidentally witnesses the grisly murder of her underhanded car-dealing husband (Aaron Eckhart), she copes with the trauma by retreating into a dreamlike state. Not only is Betty completely in denial about her husband's death, but she now believes she is the onetime love of her favorite soap opera character, Dr. David Ravell (Greg Kinnear). Leaving her Kansas home in one of her husband's used cars to "reunite" with the doctor, Betty unwittingly carries drugs that the killers (Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock) are after. As Betty arrives in Los Angeles to seek out the fictional Dr. Ravell, the hit men aren't far behind.
Director Neil LaBute's third feature combines elements of thrillers, romance flicks, and road movies into a unique film. Unlike the emotional brutality present in his previous films (IN THE COMPANY OF MEN and YOUR FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS), the violence in NURSE BETTY is physical and brief, quickly giving way to a more lighthearted comedic tone. As the title character, Renée Zellweger is sweet, determined, and utterly charming, while Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock are perfectly suited for their offbeat hit-men roles. With its clever script and sure-handed direction, NURSE BETTY makes for a winning oddball comedy about the fine line between fantasy and reality.
NURSE BETTY is a fiery comedy from director Neil LaBute (IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, YOUR FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS). Betty Sizemore, a waitress in a small Kansas town who lives vicariously through her favorite soap opera stars, fantasizes about a perfect life like that of the doctors and nurses on the TV show A REASON TO LOVE. When her insensitive husband brings an illegal business deal into their home and is brutally murdered, Betty escapes into her soap opera fantasy and begins a search for the dashing Dr. Ravell, whom she believes to be her long-lost love. Meanwhile, the killers realize Betty was a witness to the crime and begin a cross-country pursuit to find her. A spry, touching film, NURSE BETTY's absurdity is contagiously funny.
Hit Men |
Theatrical release: September 8, 2000.
NURSE BETTY had its world premiere at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Screenplay.
The film was shot on location in Los Angeles, California, and Rome, Italy, and at the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
NURSE BETTY is the first movie for which director Neil LaBute did not write his own screenplay.
Frequent LaBute collaborator Aaron Eckhart was given the choice of any role in the film but ended up choosing the relatively small role of Del.
GENERAL HOSPITAL producer and director Shelly Curtis was hired as a soap opera technical adviser.
In order to prepare for his role as a soap opera star, Greg Kinnear visited the set of GENERAL HOSPITAL.
Jack Matthews of the New York Daily News, Stephen Holden of the New York Times, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, and Time magazine named NURSE BETTY one of the 10 best films of 2000.
Renée Zellweger won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy. Oddly enough, she was in the bathroom when the award was announced. After some confusion, the embarrassed actress soon emerged to receive her Golden Globe and thank voters for "a moment I'll never forget...a moment I almost never had."