Betty
Vanguard // Unrated // $29.95 // August 13, 2002
Review by Earl Cressey | posted September 8, 2002
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
Movie:
Reminiscent of both America's Sweethearts and Wizard of Oz, Betty is a mixture of the subtler moments of each, though still managing to be mostly unique. Finished in 1997, Betty was released theatrically earlier this year in a limited run. The film stars Cheryl Pollak (Betty), Holland Taylor (Crystal), Udo Kier (Vicent), Ron Perlman (Donnie), Stephen Gregory (Fred), and Dan O'Donahue (Burt).

Believing herself not worthy of the luxurious life of a movie star, Betty Monday walks off the set of her latest $70M film, in order to get her head straight and discover what she wants out of life. While renting a house in Palm Springs, she scoops a leaf out of the pool, and feeling alive in the process, convinces the pool man to let her 'team up' with him. Run-ins with the muscle cream salesman and grocery deliveryman also have similar results. But before long, her manager, Crystal, discovers her location. Now, Betty must decide, with a little help from her friends, what she was really meant to do with her life.

Though billed as a comedy, Betty garners few laughs throughout, as it contains a more cerebral type of humor. Admittedly, it makes for a nice change from the lowbrow humor that has infiltrated the genre of late, although the humor is spread a little too thin. The acting, however, is the film's biggest drawback, as much of it seems to be too much. The characters simply aren't that believable because of that, and as such, it's hard to relate to or care about them.

Video:
Betty is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen. The transfer fares well, with only some specks and light grain appearing occasionally. Colors are bright throughout, with accurate flesh tones, and decent blacks.

Audio:
Betty is presented in Dolby 2.0 Stereo in English. The stereo track is rather unimpressive, except for some slight imaging. Dialogue is clean and understandable throughout, however. No optional subtitles are included.

Extras:
The film's trailer and one extended scene are the only extras.

Summary:
Those looking for another film about Hollywood stars who go a little crazy, ala America's Sweethearts, should give Betty a look. The high MSRP and lack of extras do little to encourage a blind purchase, though, so a rental is definitely the recommended course of action.



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