When small-town waitress Betty Sizemore (Renee 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, Zellweger is sweet, determined, and utterly charming, while Freeman and 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.