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"NURSE BETTY"
(2000) (Renee Zellweger, Morgan Freeman) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Extreme Extreme Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Heavy None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Minor Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Black comedy: Two hit men travel across the country pursuing a woman who's mentally snapped and now truly believes she's involved with an actor's soap opera character.
PLOT:
Betty Sizemore (RENEE ZELLWEGER) is a small town waitress in Fair Oaks, Kansas who gave up on her dreams of becoming a nurse due to her abusive, car salesman husband, Del (AARON ECKHART), who treats her like dirt, even on her birthday. Consequently, she lives vicariously through her favorite soap opera, "A Reason To Love," a TV melodrama set in a hospital, and is enamored with the character of Dr. David Ravell, played by actor George McCord (GREG KINNEAR).

When Betty witnesses two hit men, Charlie (MORGAN FREEMAN) and Wesley (CHRIS ROCK), murder Del during a "business" arrangement gone bad, she mentally snaps. As a result, she imagines herself as and then literally becomes Nurse Betty, a woman who jilted Dr. Ravell at the altar several years earlier but now wants to rekindle that love.

As such, she leaves her Kansas town headed toward Los Angeles and the fictitious TV hospital that she believes exists in Los Angeles, with Charlie and Wesley a day or so behind her, hoping to recover the stolen goods she doesn't realize are in the trunk of her car.

While Sheriff Ballard (PRUITT TAYLOR VINCE) and Fair Oaks reporter Roy (CRISPIN GLOVER) try to figure out Betty's disappearance and her involvement in Del's murder, the deranged woman arrives in Los Angles. There, she's befriended by Rosa (TIA TEXADA), a law firm employee who houses and helps her locate McCord.

Upon hearing Betty's elaborate story about her and Dr. Ravel, McCord and the show's producer, Lyla (ALLISON JANNEY), think she's an aspiring actress doing a creative pitch. As they soon get to know her, however, and as the two hit men close in on her, it's only a matter of time before everyone figures out who she really is as everything comes to a cumulative head.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teens might be drawn to it, as might those who are fans of anyone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violence, pervasive language and a scene of sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RENEE ZELLWEGER plays a traumatized woman who's so fixated on a particular soap opera that she imagines herself as one of the characters and then essentially stalks (in a non-threatening fashion), the lead actor on that show.
  • MORGAN FREEMAN plays an old hit man with a conscience who uses strong profanity and kills someone.
  • CHRIS ROCK plays his hit man protégé who also uses strong profanity, is belligerent and angry with everyone, and partially scalps a man in one scene.
  • GREG KINNEAR plays a soap opera actor who's immediately smitten by Betty and what he thinks is her constant need to "stay in character." When he realizes that she's really just crazy/disturbed, he's quite mean to her (and uses some strong profanity).
  • AARON ECKHART plays Betty's lowlife of a husband who uses strong profanity, treats her badly, has an affair, evidently stole some drugs and makes disparaging remarks about all sorts of people.
  • TIA TEXADA plays a woman who houses, befriends and helps Betty find "Dr. Ravel."
  • CRISPIN GLOVER plays a local reporter with his own theories about Betty's disappearance and involvement in Del's murder.
  • PRUITT TAYLOR VINCE plays the local sheriff who tries to solve that crime but is somewhat slow in doing so.
  • ALLISON JANNEY plays the soap opera's ruthless producer.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this R-rated black comedy. Violence is rated as extreme due to several violent and bloody deaths and injuries, one of which involves a graphic scalping, while other non-lethal violence also occurs. Those scenes may be tense or unsettling to some viewers, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, some of which are obviously quite bad.

    Profanity is also rated as extreme due to the use of at least 56 "f" words, while plenty of other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as is an adulterous encounter that includes movement and sounds. Some characters drink and one is obviously mentally unstable and essentially ends up stalking someone, although in a non-threatening fashion.

    Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings that include specific examples of what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Del and Charlie have drinks, while Wesley has a beer. Moments later, Del and Charlie pour themselves another drink.
  • A man has a beer in a bar where Betty then orders a light beer.
  • In the soap opera, David and another character have drinks.
  • Rosa has wine in a club and we then see her and Betty having wine.
  • People have wine and/or champagne at a reception (including Rosa and Betty).
  • A man has a beer in a bar.
  • Wesley finds large packages of drugs in the trunk of a car (but they're not identified or used).
  • Lyla and George have drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man's face is rather bloody as Wesley and Charlie torture him (we see streams of blood and plenty around his eye). We see blood on his shirt as well as on Charlie's finger (that he then washes off). Wesley then partially scalps this man with a knife (we see the cutting). As a result, Wesley holds a clump of hair/scalp that's bloody and the man stumbles away, incredibly bloody.
  • We later see blood on the floor and wall (and items in the house, as well as the body on the floor) as the police investigate.
  • A patient brought into a hospital has blood on their shirt.
  • Betty gets into an ambulance and assists the patient in there who appears to have a bloody gunshot wound (or other hole) in his chest. She then takes a tube and inserts it into the hole (graphically seen) and a large amount of blood then gushes out from the tube and onto her dress. We later see her standing in this blood-soaked dress.
  • A man's nose is a bit bloody after being pistol-whipped.
  • A person who's been shot has blood run out of their mouth and they're bloody as is the floor around them.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Del is a lowlife who's mean to Betty (forgetting her birthday, ordering her around and treating her like trash), has an affair with a woman at work, and apparently stole some drugs somehow related to Charlie and Wesley. He also says that all actors are "faggots" and makes some disparaging remarks about American Indians.
  • Charlie and Wesley are two hit men who kill one man and then pursue Betty across the country. While Charlie has something of a dignified streak in him, Wesley is a bitter young man who's mad at everyone (at one point he describes Betty by saying, "The bitch is a f*cking housewife. Nothing's below her").
  • Some viewers may taken offense to a scene where Wesley says that God kills (in response to Betty's grandparents saying that all killing is wrong).
  • One of George's costars shows up and asks, "Who's the skirt" (referring to Betty).
  • When Betty freezes on the set of the soap opera and can't act (she's confused since she's been thinking everything is real), McCord gets mad and says disparaging things to her.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be suspenseful and/or unsettling/disturbing to some viewers.
  • A scene where Betty sees her husband being scalped and then killed (through a partially opened door and detailed under "Violence") may be rather unsettling, suspenseful or even scary to some viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Knife: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see a goofy used car salesman photo of Del in a frontier costume holding an old musket.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Dumb f*cks," What the f*ck?" "What the f*ck is your problem?" "Shut the f*ck up," "Why don't you get a f*cking life?" "F*ck you," "Clean this sh*t up," "Bullsh*t," "Stupid sh*t," "Cut the sh*t," "Sh*tty," "No sh*t, shaft," "Blowing" (oral sex), "Faggots," "Sucks," "Where the hell is she going?" "Lousy ass," "Bitch," "Skirt" (for a woman), "Nuts" (crazy), "Idiot(s)" and "Shut up."
  • Given the brief instructions on how to scalp someone (delivered by Charlie and then executed by Wesley), it's possible some disturbed and impressionable kids could try the same.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays during various scenes in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 56 "f" words (2 used with "mother," 1 used sexually), 31 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "pr*ck"), 1 slang term using female genitals ("c*nt"), 3 slang terms for breasts (variations of "t*t"), 11 asses (5 used with "hole"), 9 hells, 3 damns, 10 uses of "G-damn," 5 of "God," 2 each of "Jesus Christ," "Oh my God" and "Swear to God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "Jesus," "Oh God" and "Oh Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see glimpses of a couple having sex, first just her fingernails and the heel of her shoe scratching a wall (where other scratch marks in the same place indicate the same has taken place many times before) while we hear sexual sounds (squeaking and her responses). We then see a horizontal shot (with their heads closest to the camera) of Del moving between a woman's legs (but no nudity). They're interrupted by a phone call, however, and we then see her putting her panties back on and adjusting her dress. As she leaves in a huff (while he's still on the phone with his wife), he does some suggestive pelvic thrusting in the air and then makes the gesture for male oral sex (as if holding an imaginary penis in his hand and moving it in and out of his mouth). That woman later shows cleavage and reportedly has been with half of the men in town.
  • An actress in a soap opera shows cleavage.
  • We briefly see a female character in the soap opera passionately kiss George's character in a parked car.
  • Rosa states that she wishes she could find a man who would notice her fish (in her large aquarium) before her "t*ts."
  • After listening to Charlie go on about Betty's childhood innocence (from reading her diary), Wesley tells him to turn the pages and that he's certain there will be something there about her "blowing" strangers (giving them oral sex).
  • George and Betty passionately make out at his home at night, but the scene ends so we don't know if they do anything else.
  • Charlie says that he could be on his way to Florida (by being done with their latest assignment) and that Wesley could go to some island "and f*ck your brains out."
  • We see two women kiss on a soap opera show.
  • SMOKING
  • Lyla lights up a cigar in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Betty briefly mentions that her mother died when she was twelve (but we don't know if that's true or not).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Exactly what's wrong with Betty (is she suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome or is she simply crazy?).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Wesley pulls out his gun and holds it on another man. Moments later, we see that the man has a sock in his mouth and Charlie tells him that in the past he would have been scalped for making such disparaging remarks about American Indians. Wesley then pulls out a knife, and moments later the man's face is rather bloody as Wesley and/or Charlie have evidently tortured him (we see streams of blood and plenty around his eye). Wesley then partially scalps this man with a knife (we see the cutting). As a result, Wesley holds a clump of hair/scalp that's bloody and the man stumbles away, incredibly bloody. Charlie then shoots this man twice (killing him).
  • A car strikes a person and then tries to drive away (after another person is thrown from the car) but backs into an ambulance instead. The driver gets out brandishing a gun and fires it at one person (shattering some glass). He then briefly threatens Betty, but ultimately doesn't do anything to her as she slowly walks past him. Betty then gets into the ambulance and assists the patient in there who appears to have a gunshot wound (or other hole) in his chest.
  • Mad at Betty, Rosa throws a videotape against a wall.
  • Betty slaps an actor she believes to be the character he plays on the soap opera.
  • Wesley grabs a bar patron and slams him into something (we hear more struggling & sounds of damage) while Charlie grabs the bar owner and is somewhat threatening to her.
  • After Wesley says something bad about Betty, Charlie grabs and pushes him back against a wall.
  • Wesley punches George.
  • Brandishing his handgun, Wesley throws Rosa to her sofa, while Charlie tapes Betty's wrists together. Moments later, Wesley pistol-whips two people (and then does an elbow drop into the back of one of them).
  • A person purposefully upset a large aquarium and it shatters on the floor. Another person then briefly attacks that person and struggles with another person.
  • A person shoots another person dead and then exchanges shots with another person.
  • Two more people exchange shots with one of them being hit in the arm.
  • We hear another gunshot (but don't know the reality of what happened, although the implications are that a person shot themselves).



  • Reviewed July 28, 2000 / Posted September 8, 2000

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