Waking Up in Reno | Chicago Reader

Waking Up in Reno

Like Pabst Blue Ribbon, which the characters drink by the case, this bubba comedy about cheating spouses is good for a cheap buzz. Billy Bob Thornton, who seems more like a lizard with each role, plays a Little Rock car salesman stage-managing a road trip to Reno with his sweet-natured wife, who never gives him any (Natasha Richardson); her luscious best friend, who he's secretly boffing (Charlize Theron); and the friend's dim but good-natured husband, who's hung like a horse but hasn't yet given her a child (Patrick Swayze). Once they arrive at their luxury suite in Reno the fussin' and fightin' breaks out, and for some reason screenwriters Brent Briscoe and Mark Fauser feel compelled to insert some halfway serious character scenes. But these soon blow over, and the story ends with a moment of Old Testament justice at a monster truck rally. The movie's Beverly Hillbillies humor had me laughing moderately, and by the end I wasn't even looking around to make sure no one noticed. Directed by Jordan Brady; Penelope Cruz has a cameo as a hotel call girl. 100 min.


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