A young woman comes to live with a free thinking Southern family, and challenges even their tolerance and eccentricity with her unrestrained sexuality. — Genre: Feature Film-Drama — Rating: R — Release Date: 19-AUG-2005 — Medi... more »a Type: DVD« less
"Societies regard single, attractive, sexually available women with both idolization and uneasiness. The lust, envy, jealousy and otherwise tumultuous passions surrounding their passage through the populace can be disruptive of societal bonds, e.g. by "homewrecking", even though no fault of their own. One reason why the concept, at least, of marriage is valued so highly is that this cultural arrangement takes the problematic single female out of circulation, so to speak. And, social pressures cause opprobrium to be heaped on "loose women", even by the very men who are drawn to them. Of course, the feminist correctly sees these attitudes as blatantly sexist. However, even western culture's most chauvinistic pig is likely to regard the veiling and segregation of women in fundamentalist Islamic societies, for example, as an unacceptably extreme manifestation of those same attitudes. RAMBLING ROSE takes a compassionate look at the phenomenon of social turbulence caused by an "unattached" woman. Rose, flamboyantly played by Laura Dern, is the blithe, single, 19-year old girl invited to live with a very proper Southern family in the mid-1930s. The family, offering Rose help at this difficult time in her life, includes Daddy (Robert Duvall), Mother (Diane Ladd, Dern's real-life mother), and 13-year old Buddy (Lukas Haas). Rose, already possessing a checkered history acquired with unspecified men, is a sexual "free spirit", who proceeds to cause hormonal havoc in the town's male population. Even Daddy is bewitched. To Buddy, Rose is, unsurprisingly, the godsend of a new awareness. Of the adults, only Mother, recognizing Rose as essentially guileless, staunchly defends her as the repercussions of the Siren's residence start to add up. A better film on much the same theme is Y2K's MALENA - a superb Italian production. Nonetheless, RAMBLING ROSE is delightful. Dern is positively captivating. Duvall is at his best, which is pretty darn good by any measure. Ladd portrays Mother as a slightly eccentric individual whose generosity towards and understanding of Rose is a clear counterpoint to the hardening attitudes of the other adults. The Buddy character should remind all males in the viewing audience of that time when they were 13 and discovering girls as beings with something more to offer than simply opportunities for boorish teasing. I like this film immensely."
In defense of Laura Dern!
Charles M. Cornell | New Orleans, LA | 11/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must disagree with the reviewer who so strongly criticized Laura Dern's performance. While it is true that 'Rambling Rose' has its weaknesses (the abrupt, rather unexplained ending, for one thing), I found the story line humorous and even charming. Dern's performance made the movie, in my opinion! Diane Ladd overacts a bit, as usual, but this is a minor flaw with the film as a whole. What stuck with me was Dern's 'little girl lost' expression mixed with her coy devil-may-care flirtation, which made for an entirely winning performance. I loved the music too!"
Joseph Haschka | 08/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Contrary to another viewer, I though Laura Dern's acting was very good in this film, unlike in "Jurassic Park" where she really did seem gawky and unnatural. The film has some nostalgia, some laughs, and some pathos. Not a classic, but an enjoyable diversion about a free-spirited young woman who creates havoc around her."
Boring? Too busy enjoying it to be bored.
singapore51 | Mystic Valley, MA | 07/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hot, steamy, summer day today, so off to the rental store and back home to the A.C. with Rambling Rose, one that had slipped by me till now. If Duval is there, I'll take the gamble, and no let down here. Laura Dern was delightfully over-the-top as the teenage spitfire. I was curious to see Lukas Haas in something other than Witness. He was equally great in this. Other than the cast and the blurb on the box, I had nothing to go on with this one. What a delight. I found the more the story unfolded, the more I was enjoying the ride. Simple in style, and easy on the eyes, 30's Georgia countryside, yet at times the wonderful dialogue reminded me of the screwball comedies of the late 30's and early 40's. Unquestionably Duval delivered and was charming in his Southern chivalry and hilarious in his exasperation with both the newly hired housekeeper, Dern, and with his glorious wife, Diane Ladd. Contrary to other reviews, I found Ladd's role one of the best, She plays a Columbia grad working on her Masters in American History, and whose rhetoric is dumbfounding to her devoted husband Duval, who refers to it as "logic from the 4th dimension." There are some wonderful scenes and exchanges. Terrific heartfelt laughs and excellent dialogue. This wasn't a superb movie, but Rambling Rose was surely, a really well acted, well written, well filmed and well edited, hot and steamy, good, good movie."
Cheryl L. Boswell | Hammond, LA USA | 03/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What I love most about this video is how much the setting reminds me of the way things were in the South when I was growing up. It was like going back in time. Some of the scenes in this video could have been more tastefully done, or left out, but in all, it's really wonderful."