An ignored small-town librarian confesses to a murder she didnt commit to get attention. Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 09/02/2003 Starring: Penelope Ann Miller Julianne Moore Run time: 89 minutes Rating... more »: Pg13 Director: Allan Moyle« less
"This is one of those screwball comedies that you find yourself watching in reruns every time you catch it on TV. The premise of the movie centers on Betty Lou, a rather mousey, small town librarian who is married to a cop. One day, while in the park, Betty Lou discovers the gun that was used in a recent murder. She takes it to the police, but no one will pay any attention to her. In frustration, she fires the gun and winds up confessing to the crime!She wants to prove that she isn't as mousey and predictable as everyone seems to think she is - especially her husband!While in jail she is given a transformation into a sexy bombshell by several of the other women inmates. When she appears for her arraignment no one (least of all her husband), can believe it's her.Once out on bail, however, Betty Lou realizes that she must discover who the real killer is before it is too late. What follows is an adventure that only a once mousey librarian can have -- an adventure that reveals not only Betty Lou's hidden beauty, but her smarts and cunning and style.Granted, this isn't the funniest movie to come around the pike, but that isn't it's allure. No, what makes this so appealing is Betty Lou's transformation. She stands in for every woman who has ever been underestimated,taken for granted, pigeon-holed, and ignored. She decides to take charge of her life in a very dramatic way and in the process she saves her marriage, she saves the day, and, more importantly, she saves herself.Watching Betty Lou rise to the occasion is reason enough to watch this movie. Seeing her take charge of her life is reason enough to enjoy it."
Delightfully Smooth and Fun
Zen Williston | Heavenly Valley, NV United States | 02/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This flick suprised me as I was not expecting much. And I did not get much, but what I got was light, fun, well acted, and well-written with likeable, attractive and believable characters. It is good for an evening in with popcorn. Laughs in several places and some suspense."
Classic Early 90's Touchstone Picture
Joshua Smith | CT, USA | 11/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag" falls under the same category as other beloved late 80's/early-90's films put out by Touchstone Pictures such as "Adventures in Babysitting" or "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead." Certainly not enduring works of cinematic brilliance to be studied by film students forever, but charming little films that hold a ton of entertainment value nonetheless. Not to mention these films also serve as windows into what life was like in the late 80's and early 90's, a much more innocent and light-hearted time in American pop culture. Penelope Ann Miller is delightful in the title role. And the supporting cast is brilliant as well. Eric Thal plays her less-than-appreciative cop husband who will mend his ways by the end of the film. Ray McKinnon is the cop sidekick who reassures Betty Lou's husband that Betty Lou will definitely learn plenty from a night behind bars and that his own wife Joan could use the same. Julianne Moore plays Betty Lou's kooky sister. Cathy Moriarty is brilliant as the hooker Betty Lou meets in prison. And Alfre Woodard delivers a delightfully comic turn as Betty Lou's novice attorney. The violent scenes are a little heavy-handed, but I think it serves the plot well as it shows just how much trouble Betty Lou stirs up for herself and the people she cares about. Overall, just a great, feel-good, early 90's comedy that definitely rewards repeated viewings."
I'll buy the DVD just for the bar scenes.
K. McCarthy | Southern California | 08/25/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The singer in the bar scenes (mentioned by a previous reviewer) is Steve Pryor, the "best guitarist you'll never hear". He is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and has an impressive list of accomplishments including his own CD's. Apparently there's no soundtrack CD from this movie available. Too bad. Also, there are several good shots of the keyboard player, David Busey."
Betty Lou's coming out tonight
rballjones | Des Moines, IA USA | 06/18/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although it has its good points, this film is generally of the quality of a made-for-TV film--not something I'd recommend buying or renting. Betty Lou is a librarian who's not getting the attention she wants and arguably deserves from her police officer husband. He's more interested in his work than her. There's a murder in their town involving a travelling man who's having an affair with a local married woman. Betty Lou (with her dog) happens to discover the murder weapon. To gain attention she proclaims herself the murderess. Betty Lou, of red hair, is a sympathetic character and it's fun to see her snub all the interrogating male cops (including her husband) who take her for granted. She also befriends a local prostitute while in jail and otherwise asserts herself as she hasn't before. It's not all fun, however, for there are some southern Mafia characters about led by a particularly evil man named Bodine (how original). There are a few scenes of gratuitous violence that were a big turn off.The climax is somewhat improbable but something you might expect in a TV movie.Also, there's a scene in a country bar where the singers (names unknown) recreate faithfully the great Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris duet of "Love Hurts.""