Nurse Betty

Bomb Rating: 

Sometimes it does me a bit of good to not see a movie the week it comes out because I get a taste for the type of reviews a movie is getting and am imbued with an appropriate sense of disgust before I even enter the theater. The sense quickly swelled while watching "Nurse Betty," a wildly overrated piece of swill from director Neil ("In the Company of Men") LaBute, who has apparently finally started taking his Prozac.

I've always believed that daytime soap operas were basically crack for housewives and simpletons. Basically, you watch them, get hooked, and the next thing you know, you're making unscheduled stops at the grocery store to purchase Tide and Swiffers.

More or less, this is what happens to Betty Sizemore (Renée Zellweger) who is addicted to the soap opera "A Reason to Love" before she witnesses her husband (Aaron Eckhart) scalped and shot by two hitmen, Charlie (Morgan Freeman) and Wesley (Chris Rock). After that, she wanders from Kansas to Hollywood in search of the fictional Dr. Ravell because she thinks they're actually in love. When she finally finds Dr. Ravell, who's the actor George McCord (Greg Kinnear), things fall apart, though not as quickly as they should since McCord plays along with Betty's delusion for awhile -- which means we all have to sit there and think, "What the hell is wrong with these people?"

I've been reading this sentence over and over again: "Renée Zellweger brings an innocence to her role." Innocence is fine when it comes to kittens, but when it involves adults, it usually indicative of idiocy, which is the case here. Personally, I found Zellweger pathetic and the assertion that small-town Kansas is somehow immune to the realities of the real world a total fantasy. Betty sees her abusive husband killed and she goes into soap opera shock. If she had any grasp on reality in the first place, she would have just shot him herself.

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