Nurse Betty

The Cameo, Film Festival
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The Independent Culture

A feel-good movie from Neil LaBute? Well, not quite, but this comedy about a sweet-natured waitress addicted to a daytime hospital soap marks something of a departure for the director best known for his misanthropic view of humanity ( In The Company Of Men, Your Friends and Neighbours). When Betty (Rene Zellweger - always destined to play the ditzy blonde) witnesses the murder of her oafish husband (Aaron Eckhart), she suffers temporary amnesia and travels to Los Angeles to meet and marry the handsome Dr David Ravell (Greg Kinnear), the hero of her beloved soap.

A feel-good movie from Neil LaBute? Well, not quite, but this comedy about a sweet-natured waitress addicted to a daytime hospital soap marks something of a departure for the director best known for his misanthropic view of humanity ( In The Company Of Men, Your Friends and Neighbours). When Betty (Rene Zellweger - always destined to play the ditzy blonde) witnesses the murder of her oafish husband (Aaron Eckhart), she suffers temporary amnesia and travels to Los Angeles to meet and marry the handsome Dr David Ravell (Greg Kinnear), the hero of her beloved soap.

It's an old formula but done with a lightness of touch. Unable to differentiate between reality and fiction, Betty crosses America to fulfill her dream. One of her husband's murderers (Morgan Freeman) suffers similar delusions. He can't accept that this exquisite woman, whom he has been pursuing for weeks, could be taken in by such a trashy programme.

"It's beneath her," he says. "The bitch is a housewife," yells his accomplice, played by motormouth comedian Chris Rock. "Ain't nothin' beneath her!"

Morgan Freeman excels in this touchy-feely role, a villain on the verge of a nervous breakdown, though Rock's character is relatively under-developed. It is Rene Zellweger who emerges with the most credit; even at the film's darkest moments her presence makes you tingle with delight.

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