The original soundtrack for Neil LaBute's Nurse Betty features innocent, classic pop songs that capture the sweetly delusional state of the film's title character. Jula De Palma and Pink Martini's versions of the lighthearted standard "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera Sera)" bookend songs like Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool," Ann-Margret's "Slowly," and Della Reese's "Don't You Know," and selections from Rolfe Kent's quirky original score complete this enjoyable companion to one of 2000's most unique films.
The soundtrack for first-time director Jason Reitman's satire of Big Tobacco spin plays like an amiable, city slicker sequel to O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Tex Williams' western swing standard "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette!" kicks things off with a mischievous grin, laying the groundwork for classics from Patsy Cline ("Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray"), Otis Redding ("Cigarettes and Coffee"), the Mills Brothers ("Smoke Rings"), and the Platters ("Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"). The thread is obvious, but the selections sound handpicked rather than researched solely on the basis of their subject matter. Composer Rolfe Kent, who brought such an excellent sense of place to 2004's Sideways, manages to echo the hipster swing of the Mancini-era '60s without sounding regressive, providing Thank You for Smoking with a cheerful brevity that keeps the spin more balanced than fair.