Nurse Betty is a 2000 Black Comedy film directed by Neil LaBute, based on a story by John C. Richards.
Traumatized as a result of witnessing the brutal slaying of her husband, Betty (Renée Zellweger), a small-town waitress and Soap Opera fan, enters a fugue state that allows—even encourages—her to keep functioning in a state of Alternate Universe. Now living out the fantasy life of the erstwhile Nurse Betty, she is set on returning to the love of her life, the lead character on Betty's favorite medical soap opera... the fictional Dr. David Ravell, played by actor George McCord (Greg Kinnear).
This film contains examples of:
- Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: After Betty witnesses her husband's murder she has a brain snap and believes she's a character from her favorite soap opera.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After all the terrible events that happen to Betty, things end very well for her.
- Hollywood Silencer: Averted, at least in one instance. When hitman Charlie goes to the other room with his silenced pistol into the adjacent room to Betty to commit suicide with the door closed, the "thump" of the gun is loud enough to make Betty jump. Ironically, this is a movie about a person that had trouble separating soap opera characters with real people.
- Holy Hitman: The hitman pair are both very religious and will cite chapter and verse when killing.
- Instant Drama, Just Add Tracheotomy: Betty successfully performs a tracheotomy, knowing how to do so from obsessively watching a medical soap opera.
- Pretty in Mink: When Betty first meets "Ravell", she wears an evening dress and black fur wrap.
- Pretty Little Headshots: Averted. We don't see hitman Wesley shot in the head in the movie itself, but a deleted scene entitled "The Flap" shows that it was quite graphic, perhaps too much for the rating.
- Race Fetish: A Running Gag through the movie is Wesley's attraction to Asian women.
- Soap Within a Show: The show is called A Reason to Love. The DVD even includes episodes of the show in their entirety. They're only five minutes long and exist just to show clips during the movie, but there's a coherent plot running through them. Expectedly, all the soap cliches are shown in full, right down to that damn fuzzy camera.
- Stalker with a Crush: Charlie begins to fall in love with Betty while pursuing her, imagining her as this beautiful princess with grace and poise.Wesley: "You're scaring me with all this "poise" bullshit. Why can't you just say she's got a nice ass?
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Betty is stripped off any memory regarding her husband's murder.