Nurse Betty (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Nurse Betty2000

Nurse Betty (2000)



Critic Consensus: Quirky in the best sense of the word, Nurse Betty finds director Neil LaBute corralling a talented cast in service of a sharp, imaginative script.

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Movie Info

The winner of the Best Screenplay award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, this film is a darkly comic story about one woman's incredible determination to make her dreams come true against numerous odds. Fantasy collides with reality as Betty Sizemore, a small-town waitress and soap opera fan, inspires herself and everyone she meets to find at least a piece of their real selves throughout this romantic, dangerously funny road picture. The popular TV daytime drama "A Reason to Love" has an especially devoted viewer in Betty. One night, watching a videotape of that day's episode, she becomes an accidental witness to a deal going fatally awry for her no-good car salesman husband. Betty, traumatized, enters into a fugue state that allows - even encourages - her to keep functioning, in a kind of alternate reality. Betty Sizemore becomes "Nurse Betty," who is set on returning to the love of her life, the show's Dr. David Ravell. Betty promptly sets off for Los Angles in a "borrowed" 1997 Buick LeSabre - which is precisely what her late husband's killers are looking for. As Betty makes contact with Dr. Ravell and the hit men slowly but surely track her down, life begins to imitate art and vice versa.

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Chris Rock
as Wesley
Greg Kinnear
as Dr. David Ravell/George McCord
Susan Barnes
as Darlene
Sung Hi Lee
as Jasmine
Laird Mackintosh
as Dr. Lonnie Walsh/Eric
Jenny Gago
as Mercedes
George D. Wallace
as Grandfather
Lesley Woods
as Grandmother
Cynthia Martells
as Chief Nurse
Alfonso Freeman
as ER Doctor
Kevin Rahm
as Friend No. 1
Steven Culp
as Friend No. 2
Deborah May
as Gloria Walsh
Michael Murphy
as Studio Guard
Tina Smith
as Waitress
Irene Olga Lopez
as Rosa's Mother
Steve Franken
as Administrator
Joshua Dotson
as Parking Valet
Dona Hardy
as Woman Patient
José Vásquez
as Gang Member
Jack Jacobson
as Stagehand
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Critic Reviews for Nurse Betty

All Critics (130) | Top Critics (45)

Swerving from viciousness to whimsy to dubious feminist fable, Nurse Betty doesn't jell. Still, with a cast as charmed as this, it comes oh so close.

March 6, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This comedy has a few violent scenes.

December 26, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The actors hold the movie together, particularly Ms. Zellweger and Mr. Freeman, whose characters achieve a remarkable intimacy in a most unlikely situation.

April 27, 2007 | Full Review…

In his third, most accomplished film, LaBute puts aside the inquiry of misogyny that dominated his previous work and immerses himself in a lighter romantic fable about the collision of fantasy and reality, with a terrific performance from Renee Zelwegger

July 23, 2006 | Rating: B+
Top Critic

Almost every emotion and action on view is presented as false, idiotic or superficial.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

While Nurse Betty proves that LaBute has more than one string to his bow, you can't help thinking that he makes more memorable cinema when revelling in misanthropy.

December 3, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Nurse Betty

Not quite the 5 star movie I remembered, but still a pretty good one. Am rewatching some of my old DVDs and really enjoying them. Renee zellweger really was a good actress (still is, but I did like her earlier roles).

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Neil LaBute's "Nurse Betty" is a remarkable film. While LaBute takes a lot from The Coen Brothers (determinism, shades of existential violence, a dash of film noir) and David Lynch (the collision of fantasy and reality) which cements his role as opportunist rather than auteur, "Nurse Betty" remains fresh, vibrant and funny. The film incredibly manages to balance three completely different avenues and makes them cohesive. You have hit men Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock in one section, the psychotically broken Betty and her adventures in Los Angeles in another and then characters from small town Kansas rounding things out. The film manages to find a way to intertwine these aspects in a satisfying and intriguing way, always remembering the the truth behind this wacky scenario. "Nurse Betty" shouldn't work, it should have been a massive, convoluted mess. But it's not. It's an incredibly sly, biting and extremely heartfelt picture with a dynamite Renee Zellweger at it's center.

Steven Carrier
Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

A biting dark comedy with a refreshingly odd premise, "Nurse Betty" is another truly original film from director Neil LaBute. Like most of his films (INCLUDING "The Wicker Man") you sometimes don't know when to laugh, cry, or cringe... but that is precisely what makes (most of) his films so memorable and wonderful. Indeed, "Nurse Betty" is a wonderful film; easily ranking with LaBute's best. Stellar writing, colorful characters, and hilariously awkward situations abound, while Renee Zellweger has never been more lovable, infectious, or charismatic as she is here. A great, slightly-twisted chunk of entertainment.

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer

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