Waking Up in Reno

Starring:
Charlize Theron as Candy Bush K.
Patrick Swayze as Roy K.
Natasha Richardson as Darlene Dodd
Billy Bob Thornton as Lonnie Earl Dodd
Chelcie Ross as Fred Bush
Brent Briscoe as Officer Russell Whitehead
Penélope Cruz as Brenda
George ‘Buck’ Flower as Buster
Wayne Federman as Ronnie
David Koechner as Bellhop
Mark Fauser as Boyd

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Director And Screenwriters
Making Of Waking Up In Reno
Feature Commentary With Director Jordan Brady And Screenwriters Brent Briscoe & Mark Fauser

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 91 Minutes
French Language Track

Synopsis:
Roy, Candy, Darlene, and Lonnie make up two couples who are best friends. They have all planned a road trip together from their home state of Arkansas to Reno, Nevada to see a monster truck rally. Roy is sweet and a little dim witted, but he desperately tries to please his wife Candy. Candy is a woman who married young and doesn’t know what she wants out of life or her relationship. Darlene is a meek housewife who finds herself constantly being dominated by her husband, Lonnie. Lonnie is a used car salesman who is pushy, opinionated, and frustrated by a lack of sexual intimacy with his wife. Little do Darlene and Roy know, but Lonnie and Candy have recently had a brief affair together.

As the foursome heads to Reno, they begin to re-examine their relationships. Candy, feeling desperately guilty about her affair, tries to renew her love for Roy. Lonnie tries to get the romance back in his marriage with Darlene. However, their marriages and friendships will be put to the ultimate test when the truth is revealed in Reno.

“Waking Up In Reno” is rated R for language and some sexual content.

The Movie:
In the extras, Billy Bob Thornton described this film as a “redneck romantic comedy”, and that’s exactly what this is. It’s a road trip film with a bit of a redneck twist.

“Waking Up In Reno” offers a lot of laughs. Many of them are centered on the redneck quirks of our characters. For example, Roy and Lonnie are thrilled to be going to a monster truck rally. Their suburban is completely loaded with beer for the road trip. One of the highlights of the trip is stopping at a place that has a contest to eat a 72 oz steak. The film plays up the stereotypes as much as possible. It’s funny most of the time, but towards the end it gets repetitive.

The cast is, of course, excellent. Everyone seems to be having fun in this movie and it shows in the final product. Billy Bob Thornton is way over the top as Lonnie. He’s arrogant, insensitive, and has a knack for saying the worst possible thing at the worst possible time. This makes him one of the more fun characters in the film. Natasha Richardson is great as Darlene Dodd. Richardson is British, but she does a very convincing southern accent. The moment her character breaks out of her shell, she really comes alive and offers some of the funnier moments of the finale. Charlize Theron shows she’s more than capable of doing comedy as Candy. Her accent is laid on a bit thick, but that’s forgivable in this role. Patrick Swayze, looking a lot older, is lovable as the dimwitted Roy. He is probably the most convincing of the rednecks. Penélope Cruz even makes a strange surprise cameo as a Reno hooker.

Overall, “Waking Up In Reno” is good for a few laughs and worth checking out if you’re a fan of any of the cast.

The Extras:
This DVD offers up a few extras:

Feature Commentary With Director Jordan Brady And Screenwriters Brent Briscoe & Mark Fauser – This is a pretty decent commentary with the writers and director. Their comments are funny and they offer up some amusing bits of trivia about writing the film, filming with the cast, etc. If you enjoyed the film, you might find this worth checking out. I still wish the cast had joined in on the commentary.

Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Director And Screenwriters – This features around 6 or so deleted scenes. None of them are essential to the plot. They really just help establish more the problems that the characters are going through. One details the affair between Lonnie and Candy more. Another talks more about the sexual problems between Lonnie and Darlene. Another scene features Roy and Lonnie making a beer run to the local Sam’s Warehouse. (If you don’t know what that is, you’re probably not a redneck.) They’re a nice extra, but the film didn’t hurt any from their omission.

Making Of Waking Up In Reno – This is a short 5-minute video talking about the movie. It mostly consists of the cast gushing about each other, talking about why they joined the movie, and describing their characters. If you’re looking for a substantial behind-the-scenes feature, this is not it.

The Bottom Line:
If you enjoy redneck jokes or are a fan of any of the cast, you’ll want to check this one out. It would make a decent renter.

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