The Friday Five: Movies Betty White Saved

Which Movies Were Made Better Simply by Casting Betty White?

Betty White can pop up as a cast member in just about any movie and improve it.


The aging actress has near perfect comedic timing and for the last two years her stock has been rising as a younger generation finds what makes her so special.  White had quite the run last year after fans took to the internets once realizing that the comic genius had never hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live.  The rally worked, and before long White took the hosting role in one of Saturday Night Live's highest performing episodes.


White, 88 years old, has been acting since 1945.  Her longest stint in television was on the much loved Golden Girls with 180 episodes during the show's seven year run, followed by another 24 episode on the show's spinoff, The Golden Palace (fans of Arrested Development take note, Mitch Hurwitz wrote nine episodes of the show's run).  White has appeared in just about any television show you can name, including Who's the Boss, Matlock, Fame, Ally McBeal, King of the Hill, That 70's Show, Family Guy, and The Simpsons.  


When she's not busy working with television, the comic lends her talents to help make adequate movies much more enjoyable.  White appears in You Again, which opens September 24th, 2010. 



Friday Five:  Movies Betty White Saved


You Again Movie Poster

Honorable Mention:  You Again

The movie hasn't been released yet, but judging by the trailers alone it seems a safe bet that Betty White will be a saving grace to this mediocre rom-com.  The movie stars Kirsten Bell as Marni, who learns that the girl her brother is about to marry is the same girl who made her life miserable while in high school.  Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver play the two girls mothers, who also happened to be high school rivals.  Betty White plays Bell's grandmother, who also happened to be rivals with Sigourney Weaver's mother.  The entire movie is about lifelong rivals with White rounding out the cast.  While the movie may be mediocre, White is sure to keep you laughing.








The Proposal Movie Poster

#5.  The Proposal

Arguably, The Proposal is actually pretty funny.  However, things don't really heat up until Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock head to Alaska and meet Reynold's family.  His grandmother is played by Betty White, who sells the part perfectly.    In fact, there's only so much family drama you can take before you have to role your eyes and chalk it up to the nature of the genre.  But White's performance really sells the family craziness, adding that extra layer of absurdity and hilarity that the last leg of the movie truly needed.    That, and any time you have a comic of her value telling Bullock that finding her breasts in a wedding dress is "like an Easter egg hunt', you're bound to crack a smile. 











Bringing Down the House Movie Poster

#4.  Bringing Down the House


Bringing Down the House is an awful movie.  Steve Martin hasn't been funny in years, and while Bringing Down the House might be the best he's offered in quite some time, it doesn't make it a good movie.  The plot follows Martin as a lonely guy who tries internet dating, only to meet Queen Latifah, a prison inmate who breaks out to be with him.  Sexual, racial and overweight jokes rule the rest of the movie.  White plays Martin's neighbor, a racist bigot who clearly has the best lines in the movie.  Her part nearly makes the movie watchable, and the movie would certainly be higher on the list had they given White more to do.  












Love N Dancing

#3.  Love N' Dancing


As a general rule, movies with titles that feature a letter in place of a word (in this case 'N' instead of 'and') are horrible.  Another rule, and this is an obvious one, is that dance movies starring Billy Zane are downright awful.  But, as another general rule of thumb, if you add Betty White into the mix you find yourself with a watchable movie.  And that's exactly what happened here.  And as White always does, she saves Love N Dancing from being a completely forgettable experience, to being a mostly forgettable experience.  The only way you can go wrong with casting Betty White and Billy Zane in the same movie is if it's a movie about dancing.     












Hard Rain

#2.  Hard Rain


Hard Rain is one of those movies most people like to forget.  It tries at times to be an action flick, while also trying to be a thriller.  The movie also takes place during a rain that causes massive flooding to an entire town, which can both add suspense and nausea into the works.  But if you cast Betty White as a local gun nut, you get a movie that has a much more enjoyable second half than first.  White's role is brief here, but there's never anything more scary than a comedian with a loaded weapon.  













Lake Placid

#1.  Lake Placid


Lake Placid was an attempt to cash in with audiences who liked movies like Anaconda.  It didn't work, and the movie essentially broke even at the box office.  But that's to be expected when  you cast Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, and Oliver Platt in a monster movie.  The movie, as you can tell by the poster, is about a giant crocodile that eats people.  The croc terrorizes the locals of Lake Placid, including a somewhat disturbed Betty White.  What makes this the best movie Betty White saved?  Look away if you don't want the end of the movie spoiled -----  After one of the croc's is killed (that's right, there were two), the audience learns that the nutty Betty White was breeding the crocs, as we see her out at the lake feeding baby crocs.  Pretty crazy.  The best part is that the movie was written and produced by David E. Kelley, and Betty White went on to appear in three of his television shows; Ally McBeal, The Practice, and Boston Legal.  Lake Placid spawned two sequels, neither of which White appeared in.        






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