of the N.Y. Post
Hey Whore, how's
the whoring? According to this week's Quote Whore:
Art of War is "a 21st-century equivalent
of the early James Bond!"
Space Cowboys: "Clint Eastwood makes our
day with the summer's most delightful surprise!" (no wonder
he liked it, he writes in clichés himself)
What Lies Beneath
Ford and Michele Pfeiffer in Fatal Attraction with a ghost!"
Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.
"Finally, those fuckers get it mostly right!"
For me, going to the movies is a lot like love. Before I married
my beautiful and strict Mrs Filthy, I was a miserable fuck, angry
at the world and everyone who'd done me wrong. Desperate for
someone to love me, I'd go out with any ladies who wanted to;
maybe a couple of harelips, a drunk girl from the bus, a club
foot and that strung-out girl who lied about being a stripper
because she didn't want my parents to know what she really did.
Every relationship was a failure. The girls would lie about how
much alcohol they could handle and invariably ended up vomiting
in my car. One girl shit her pants and then blamed it on my dog.
She honestly expected me to believe that my 80-pound mutt crawled
down her pants and pinched a wet loaf. So, why did I keep going
out on dates, including four with the pant-shitter, if there
was no love? There's more to it than that these ladies let me
fulfill my "naughty mechanic" fantasies.
The real reason is because - and don't you jerks fucking tell
anyone this I'm an optimist and a people-person. That's
right, I love people, even the loudmouth jerks I want to punch
in the face, and the assholes and pricks who do everything they
can to keep Filthy down. I always give humanity another chance
to return the love I dole out like a child-molester doles out
My attitute toward movies is that same, and that's why I endured
this summer, the summer of constant and perineum-tearing ass-reamings
by Hollywood's harelips, club-foots and junkies. I thought that
if I didn't give up, if I kept handing over chunks of my Family
Dollar wages, my love for movies would be requited.
Those grass-eating self-fuckers from L.A. pushed me to the
limit of my kindness. And then, with "Nurse Betty,"
all was forgiven. Because it treated me right this week, Hollywood
and I are in love.
Renée Zellweger is Betty, a simple waitress in Kansas
married to Del Sizemore (Aaron Eckhard), a mullet-headed used
car salesman who fucks his receptionist and isn't above turning
criminal tricks for a buck. Eckhart has no love for Betty and
it leaves her lost in her favorite soap opera, longing for a
more fulfilling life. When one of Eckhart's deals goes sour,
he is scalped and murdered by a hot-headed (Chris Rock) working
with Morgan Freeman as bounty hunters for the mob.
Zellweger witnesses the murder, but is so shocked by it that
it sends her into delusions. She blanks out the murder and believes
she lives in the world of her soap "A Reason to Love."
She thinks that the show's handsome doctor (Greg Kinnear) is
meant for her. She leaves Kansas and heads for California to
unite with her doctor.
Because she witnessed their murder, Rock and Freeman follow
her with murderous intent. They catch up with Zellweger in Los
Angeles, where she has tracked down Kinnear, entangled herself
in his TV show, and unknowingly put herself in harm's way.
Neil LaBute and the writers John C. Richards and James Flanberg
take what could have been a stupid amnesia story (like "The
Long Kiss Goodnight") and turned it inside out. That's the
second best thing about this movie. It's not about a woman being
hunted by killers, it's about Zellweger's quest for something
better. It's about her trying to enter the fantasy world that
she held at arm's distance in Kansas. Before Eckhart's death,
she knew "A Reason to Love" was just a soap opera and
she only dreamed it could be her world. After his death, that
barrier is gone and the soap's synthetic, glassy world is hers.
It's a trick, but a funny one, and in the hands of these people
a sympathetic one.
The best thing about this movie is that I realized two-thirds
through it that I was giddy. Although "Nurse Betty"
is only occasionally funny enough to make me shoot Pepsi out
my nose, I enjoyed myself. It's harder for me to explain to you
why than it was for me to explain to the Mrs. why my dick was
caught in the floppy-disk drive (let's just say you can't believe
everything you read in those "erotica" newsgroups).
But, I think it's because the movie is new and fresh. Maybe I
was giddy because, at the end of the long, dreadful summer, I
watched likable, fully-developed characters in a plot that, as
weird as it is, made sense. And nobody involved was slapping
himself on the back for being so fucking clever.
The writers and director do a fan-fucking-tastic job of having
Zellweger's character straddle the real and surreal. They mine
her confusion with the soap actors and their characters for real
laughs. And they manage to make the soap opera world be more
attractive and better. Zellweger isn't pretty, really, but she's
definitely got a blank face, with the big chipmunk cheeks and
squinty eyes. Trust me, as someone who deals with an alarming
number of people looking for discount pliers because they think
the government has put transmitters in their teeth, Zellweger
has the look of a confused delusional just right.
The other actors are uniformly excellent, especially Freeman
and Rock. This is the first Chris Rock movie I have seen where
the director didn't just stick him in to raise the movie's "bitchin'"
quotient. They think he can make their movie cool, even if they
don't know what to do with him. LaBute takes full advantage of
Rock's self-righteous indignation, presenting us with a kid who
is fucking pissed at the world and with good reason (I know how
it feels, Mr. Rock). Freeman's slow-burn works because there's
so much God-damn intelligence in his eyes. If I ran into that
guy, you can bet your ass I wouldn't lie to him like I regularly
do my parents and friends because he'd know it.
Greg Kinnear is okay. I don't think he's an actor, but he
was naturally gifted with the look of a smarmy asshole, and those
looks serve him well here.
"Nurse Betty" does stumble out of the block. Eckhart's
character is such a lame white-trash cliché that his early
death is welcomed. I invite all Hollywood directors and writers
to a night at the Arvada Tavern so they will understand that
real white-trash isn't so easily stereotyped; we're capable of
much more kindness and cruelty than those rich fucks can imagine
while swilling martinis in the Polo Lounge. Same with the sweet,
fat, dumb small-town sheriff. Hollywood thinks all fat sheriff's
are confused saints, but my personal experience is that they're
total assholes. But the biggest fuck-up in casting was not giving
Crispin Glover anything to do. Glover is a fucking lunatic, and
the movie casts him as a regular guy, straitjacketed by a meager
But, "Nurse Betty," a four-finger movie,
has filled me with love for movies and hope for the future. I
know from experience that Hollywood is will quickly fall back
into its old habits of taking advantage of me, beating me senseless,
and ignoring my needs. I'm an optimist, though, and knowing that
those assholes are capable of a movie like this gives me reason
to go on and give them a too many more chances.