Here’s a dark comedy of luminous intelligence. When Betty Sizemore’s loser husband witnesses her loser husband tortured and beaten to death she goes into screwball denial and steals the killers’ car not knowing it’s filled with cocaine. When the hit men catch her they find that dazed Betty’s only wish is to get to her beloved Dr. David Ravell. Unaware she’s the murdered man’s wife, they escort her to California where she says the good doctor lives and works. The only problem is that Ravell is a soap opera character.
Director Neil LaBute has made a stylish, inordinately smart movie about how trauma punctures the truth-fiction membrane. Renée Zellweger is terrific as Betty, while Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock shine as the hit men (Rock joyously straddles spoof and menace). Greg Kinner — who can do it all — is Dr. Ravell. John C. Richards’ screenplay is a Hollywood oddity: original.