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You can't accuse Neil LaBute of not getting through to his audience. For better or worse, his first two movies, In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors, which he also wrote, leave a lasting impression. His third film, Nurse Betty, should pique the curiosity of moviegoers for two reasons. First of all, you never know what could possibly come next in his films. No territory is off limits. Secondly, he didn't write this script. What could it be about this script that would inspire Neil LaBute to direct this film?

Renée Zellweger plays Betty, a dreamer who is stuck as a waitress in a small town in Kansas. Her husband, Del (played by the chameleon-like Aaron Eckhart), is a shady used car salesman who ignores her birthday and generally walks all over her. Aaron Eckhart is brilliant character actor and a LaBute favorite for good reason. Sporting a mullet (nice touch), he adds a lot of the dark, borderline misogynistic humor that we can expect from LaBute. Betty's only joy is her favorite soap opera starring George McCord (Greg Kinnear, who must've narrowly missed a career in soaps early on) who plays the dashing Dr. David Ravell.

Betty's dreary life gets a little excitement after Del brings home some important clients. These clients, Charlie (Morgan Freeman) and Wesley (Chris Rock), turn out to be the ones in control. Rather than coming for Del's business, they're hit men who have come for Del. It's strange to see Morgan Freeman in a wacky comedy like this but he comes through in fine style doing what he does best - playing the wiser, older partner. Similarly, Chris Rock does what he does best, playing the younger, impetuous partner. It's refreshing that this film allows Rock to play a character rather than showcase his undisputed comic talent.

For reasons that you should really see for yourself, Betty leaves Del behind to trek across country under the delusion that she's a nurse whom will be reunited with her first fiancée, Dr. David Ravell. That's right, not George McCord the actor, David Ravell the doctor. The hit men follow her trying to retrieve from Betty what they wanted from Del. At times, Betty's delusion can take on a Three's Company quality of annoying misunderstanding but she's so damn sweet that you don't really care. As the chase goes on Charlie's search takes an interesting turn and starts to take on a deeper meaning for him.

I suppose that an emotionally disturbed waitress wandering the country to find her fiancée who is really her favorite soap opera star befits the dark humor of LaBute. To a certain extent it's about idolatry but, more importantly, it's a movie about people searching for something. You have no idea what they're searching for but neither do they. You're just along for the ride and it's a pretty cool trip.

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