DVD Review: London Betty (2009)

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Blame it on Woodward and Bernstein? For undisclosed reasons, a bright (yet as you realize, not terribly so), ambitious journalist ventures from London to small town USA to become an American reporter.

While immediately you'll have a hard time understanding why on Earth someone would change countries for a job that even on the phone must've sounded like a slight step up from high school newspaper sports score reporter, the faster you give in to the ridiculous premise, the more you'll probably enjoy the blissfully silly London Betty.

A hit on the typically tear-jerker laden film festival circuit as no doubt the sunny, upbeat comedy in a sea of tissues, London Betty which was recently released from Maverick Entertainment production label initially starts in a style not so very different from the movies of Guy Ritchie with introductory name cards and voice-over to acquaint us with the slackers and low lives with whom we'll be spending time.

Although still not as dubious or nonsensical as uprooting your life for a dead-end job, the fancy card inserts and narration from Clint Howard turns out to be a bit unnecessary considering the fact that the only individuals you have to keep straight consist of two thieves and a prostitute.

While normally, the dim-witted trio would be our Home Alone style slapstick villains, in London Betty, once they cross paths with the newly arrived Betty, the group becomes the unlikely heroes of the movie, which is best evidenced when we cut to the nefarious, sleazy, and corrupt mayor who is so intimidating that Betty discovers her new boss has become housebound in fear of his life.

Telling Betty to stick with fluff pieces she can find on the message board in town and just e-mail him all of her articles, her editor-in-chief is horrified when Betty's missing pet rabbit Pollack leads her on the news scoop of her career that's located right at the mayor's home.

However, she's determined to be her own one-woman version of Woodward and Bernstein rolled into one... er, actually a brainy, black, British female super journalist turned sleuth. And when predictably she gets in over her head, her new-found odd American criminal pals spring into action to help save the story and the town.

Overall, the movie is best viewed as mindless rainy day fare for when you're feeling under the weather and in the mood for something like Napoleon Dynamite or Bottle Rocket except more on the frat pack Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, or Rob Schneider level.

And although I didn't love Betty as much as those who've been raving about it from the film festivals, it definitely deserves credit for being unafraid to go way out on a limb for humor and fortunately hitting more than it misses, even if you just can't buy any of the premises with all the dollars or pounds in America or England.

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FTC Disclosure:
Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.