Damaged Goods

Waking Up in Reno is not that bad, but it's not that good, either

Not as bad as its rep--Miramax has been hiding this sucker on the shelf for danged near two years--but not good enough to overcome its status as damaged goods, which is almost a shame, since audiences will miss Billy Bob Thornton's best performance, and hairpiece, in years. (He's having a monster's ball, pardon.) This is a comedy Dr. Phil could wrap his moustache around in a loving embrace: Two couples (Thornton and Natasha Richardson, barely in love; Patrick Swayze and Charlize Theron, desperately trying to get pregnant) take a road trip from Arkansas to Nevada and leave their white trash scattered all across the Southwest. Once it's revealed to all that Thornton and Theron have had a brief tryst--two humps, like a camel--things fall apart, though, blessedly, not for long; these people deserve each other, and a slightly better movie that doesn't patronize and preach at the same time (Richardson, turns out, is pretty on the inside, too--whatever). Docked a point for using Penelope Cruz for a split second as a Reno hooker; come to think of it, brief cameos become her.

 
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