Waking Up in Reno

Waking Up in Reno

4.0 2
Director: Jonathan Brady, Jordan Brady

Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Charlize Theron

     
 

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Dubbed by its writers "a redneck Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Waking Up in Reno is a modest little film that resists the easy Southerner jokes that lesser comedies might embrace. The film collected dust on the Miramax shelves through several release dates, but its stellar foursome of actors delivers a pleasant surprise that's mild on slapstick and hick

Overview

Dubbed by its writers "a redneck Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Waking Up in Reno is a modest little film that resists the easy Southerner jokes that lesser comedies might embrace. The film collected dust on the Miramax shelves through several release dates, but its stellar foursome of actors delivers a pleasant surprise that's mild on slapstick and hick stereotypes. The DVD commentary by director Jordan Brady and writers Brent Briscoe and Mark Fauser underscores just how sharp that acting is, reminding the viewer that Natasha Richardson is a native Brit doing a flawless Southern twang and that Patrick Swayze is capable of impressive nuance and self-deprecation. The creative team's jovial rapport also includes entertaining anecdotes -- of varying relevance -- and a drinking game revolving around the movie, complete with pauses in the commentary to use the toilet. Perhaps that's where the redneck part comes in. Among the DVD extras are a handful of deleted scenes that would have front-loaded the character development and lengthened the film's opening in Arkansas. Clearly, Brady, et al. chose a quicker and better pace by getting them on the road to Reno, where the characters could blossom in less overtly expository ways. The DVD also includes a short making-of feature that adds next to no value.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Waking Up in Reno was originally entitled Wakin' Up in Reno, but the King's English "g" was affixed on the end, apparently in an attempt to make it seem less provincially Southern. Jordan Brady's film actually succeeds in that regard without any title finagling, respecting its quartet of essentially good-natured but flawed protagonists whose close friendships have made them recklessly familiar with each other's spouses. Once the film gets going on the road to Reno, it unfolds as a nice character study that steadily builds toward a third-act blowup that's zanier than it needed to be, but still pretty heartfelt. Even though Miramax showed little confidence in the film by delaying its release several times, the balanced script justifies the leap of faith shown by its talented cast. Billy Bob Thornton, Charlize Theron, and Natasha Richardson have frequently been recognized for their skills, but the much-maligned Patrick Swayze puts forward a deceptively subtle performance that suggests his resurgence in the previous year's Donnie Darko was no fluke. The strength of the script is that it never needs to go outside this foursome to sustain interest. Co-writers Brent Briscoe and Mark Fauser pepper the journey with set pieces that straddle the line between straight comedy and telling character development. One wouldn't want to over-praise Waking Up in Reno, and the hasty ending gives enough pause to prevent that from happening. But for a movie with dismal-looking trailers that was lucky to get off the scrap heap, it's pleasing stuff.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/08/2003
UPC:
0786936216318
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
R
Source:
Miramax
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:31:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes with optional commentary by director and screenwriters; Making-of featurette; Feature commentary with director Jordan Brady and screenwriters Brent Briscoe and Mark Fauser; French soundtrack; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound; Widescreen (1.85:1) enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Billy Bob Thornton Lonnie Earl Dodd
Charlize Theron Candy
Patrick Swayze Roy
Natasha Richardson Darlene
Holmes Osborne Doc Tuley
Chelcie Ross Fred Bush
Penélope Cruz Brenda (Spanish Woman)
Tony Orlando Himself
Brent Briscoe Russell Whitehead
Mark Fauser Actor
Wayne Federman Ronnie
Billy O'Sullivan Lonnie III

Technical Credits
Jonathan Brady Director
Jordan Brady Director
Brent Briscoe Screenwriter
Lisa Churgin Editor
John DeMeo Art Director
Mark Fauser Screenwriter
William A. Fraker Cinematographer
Jonathan Gordon Executive Producer
Doug Hall Costumes/Costume Designer
Jay R. Hart Set Decoration/Design
Bruce Heller Co-producer
Jim Hensz Asst. Director
Jeremy Kramer Executive Producer
Michele Kuznetsky Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul Ledford Sound/Sound Designer
Ben Myron Producer
Jeannine Oppewall Production Designer
Mary Ramos Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert Salerno Producer
Emily Schweber Casting
Marty Stuart Score Composer
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
Dwight Yoakam Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Just What the Doctor Ordered
2. Gettin' Out of Town
3. The Big Texan
4. Sneakin' a Swim
5. New Car Smell
6. Romance?
7. Welcome to Reno
8. All Blow and No Dough
9. Time to Celebrate
10. My Tadpoles Ain't Swimmin'
11. Payback?
12. Monster Truck Rally
13. Makin' Up
14. End Credits

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Waking Up in Reno 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie must have been a 'sleeper'. I had not heard of it and few video shops seemed to carry it. As a Patrick Swaye fan from way back, when I found a used copy at a video shop on DVD in a large city, I snapped it up and never stopped laughing! Billy Bob Thornton was also at his funniest and I love Charlize Theron, no matter what she is in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of the movie until I was surfing through the satellite and saw it. It is very funny, and the acting is awesome by all four actors, very believable!