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Waking Up in Reno
Waking Up in Reno
Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Charlize Theron, Patrick Swayze, Natasha Richardson, Holmes Osborne
Director: Jordan Brady
Genres: Comedy
R     2003     1hr 31min

Oscar(R)-winner Billy Bob Thornton (SLING BLADE, Best Adapted Screenplay, 1996; MONSTER'S BALL) and Charlize Theron (THE CIDER HOUSE RULES) are matched with Patrick Swayze (DIRTY DANCING, GHOST) and Natasha Richardson (BLO...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Charlize Theron, Patrick Swayze, Natasha Richardson, Holmes Osborne
Director: Jordan Brady
Creators: Brent Briscoe, Mark Fauser, Ben Myron, Bob Weinstein, Bruce Heller, Dwight Yoakam, Harvey Weinstein
Genres: Comedy
Sub-Genres: Comedy
Studio: Miramax
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/08/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Gloria B. (glowbird) from SPOKANE, WA
Reviewed on 3/12/2019...
I give this five stars for hilarity, a good movie to watch to pull you out of a slump with some good belly laughs to boot. It may not be high cinema, but in the comedy set it is one of my all-time keepers. Well worth a watch.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
S A A. (Learned2Heal)
Reviewed on 11/17/2008...
Strange as it may seem, I have often found that movies that get a low rating by TV Guide are either very bad or very good. As it turns out, this one-star movie is really a lot of fun.

Strange characters developed here for Patrick Swayze and Charlize Theron. Quite unexpected really. Both are very funny with great comedic timing. Billy Bob Thornton is hilarious too, but that's no surprise and his character isn't either, frankly.

Amazingly, Natasha Richardson puts on a real, down-home, Southern drawl! Not to mention the mannerisms... Perfect to a tee! Unbelievable that she is, in fact, British!!! Quite a shocker when she gets interviewed in the Special Features and replaces the drawl with her natural accent.

Penelope Cruz too is excellent as the gorgeous, smart-mouth hooker.

The movie is chock-full of trite one-line Americanisms that would bore you stiff if one or more members of your immediate family were prone to using them but, somehow, here they work.

Although this movie is well acted, well-directed and well written, with great character development, it is just a bit too simple and predictable to be a contender for any awards. But it's still 90 minutes of plain good ol' fun just the same.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Not an award winner, but funny film.....
J. Fryer | Nicholasville, KY | 10/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I had to take a road-trip of my own four towns to the south to see Billy Bob Thornton in "Waking Up In Reno" because of its 'limited release' status. But it was worth the trip.

There were only six other people in the theater. All seven of us laughed at the appropriate times, so there are at least seven people in this part of southern Florida who recognize 'funny' when they see/hear it. I do not know why this movie is getting such bad reviews and bad press. Maybe you have to be from the south to enjoy the humor. I would say maybe you have to be a BBT fan, but I don't think that is true, because I would have enjoyed it anyway. It isn't another Monster's Ball or Sling Blade, but it is funny and has just enough of a ring of truth in the situations and very believable characters (at least to us southern folk) to make it enjoyable, recognizable, cute and humerous. Won't win any awards, but deserves better ink than it is getting.

The premise for those of you who don't know is based on a road trip from Millsberg, Arkansas (pop 8,8??, too quick for my old eyes) to Reno with a detour to Amarillo so Billy Bob's character (Lonnie Earl Dodd) can win a $50.00 bet by eating a 72 oz. steak. This is like a road-movie, but less like Hope and Crosby and more like Chevy Chase and Beverly DeAngelo without the kids (although the two couples do often act a lot like kids).

Patrick Swayze's character (Roy Kirkendall-sp?) is sweating the results of a pending fertility test; his wife, Candy, (Charlize Theron) is begging for a renewal of their marriage vows in Reno (because lots of people get re-married where gambling is legal); and Lonnie Earl's wife (Darlene Dodd) played by Natasha Richardson just 'isn't the girl that Lonnie married' anymore.

Lonnie sells used-cars, Roy works for his father-in-law in a cat-food cannery, and Darlene is a stay-at-home mom, while Candy has transformed from 'Lonnie's supportive friend' to 'his afternoon delight'. These are individuals who have been friends since grade school, but discover while on the road to Reno that there are still many things to be learned about one another. The revelation of these little secrets 'just among friends' makes for some pretty hilarious antics in 'the 'Biggest Little City In The World'.

From searching for midgets to roadside-bedroom antics for a grateful audience; from brawls on the casino floor, to bubble baths and room service; the four "Wake Up" to insights about themselves and their friends and relations. Roy discovers his manhood in a most unlikely manner, Candy learns a secret that sends tremors through all the relationships, Darlene definitely gets her groove back, and Lonnie...well Lonnie may just be on the receiving end of one of the greatest acts of revenge a scorned woman has ever devised.....

Brent Briscoe (The Killing Box, A Simple Plan, U-Turn, Sling Blade, and Minus Man, not a Billy Bob Thornton film, but starring Dwight Yoakam, who also was one of the producers of "Waking Up In Reno") is Russell Whitehead, small town cop. I will need to see the flick again, but I believe I caught a brief, very brief, glimpse of Marty Stuart. He was billed as a member of the 'musical group', but I thought I caught him in a crowd scene. Tony Orlando plays himself in an integral part of locating 'the real' Darlene. There are ooodles of great shots of Billy Bob's gorgeous brown eyes that you could drown in. You also get to hear him sing a snippet of "Hang On Sloopy" (which might possibly be on his next CD). There is a close-up of a kiss between BB and Natasha that will have his female fans drooling, at least it worked for me.

All in all this was a very enjoyable film and I would recommend it to all Billy Bob's fans and anyone else who enjoys cute comedy with a just a little message tucked in the corners.

Its a good'n. See it soon at a theater that may NOT be near you."
Comedic gem
Larry Comer | Ironton, OH USA | 06/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The talents of this cast take this story and make it enjoyable and entertaining. The always lovable Billy Bob Thornton and Patrick Swayzee are perfect opposites, and Charlize Theron justs get sexier with each film she makes, Natasha Richardson shines as the wallflower wife turned into a outgoing take charge woman when the trip to Reno comes unraveled in hilarious marital misadventure that forutunately ends in a typical hollywood all is well with the world ending."
Only Billy Bob
M. Buisman | Amstelveen, The Netherlands | 06/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"It is not hard to imagine why it took so long for this movie to be released. It's not very good and the story has nothing new or worthwile about it. There must have been more stories about couples sleeping with the other in the other couple. Billy Bob Thornton is worth seeing in this movie, playing a second-hand car dealer. Charlize Theron isn't bad as Patrick Swayze's wife. It is rather fun hearing Swayze talk with a southern accent. If you have too much money or a Billy-Bob obsession you can get it, but I would what until it's on television."