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Rambling Rose

4.1 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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(Mar 16, 1999)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Rose, an alluring young woman played by Laura Dern, moves in with a Southern family to care for their children, their lives are changed forever. Rose relates to everyone she meets in the only way she knows how - with an innocent, but highly charged sexuality she cannot restrain. Robert Duvall co-stars as "Daddy," a man whose traditional values could never prepare him for the temptations of Rose. Diane Ladd - Dern's real-life mother - plays "Mother", who offers Rose protection and love despite the scandal the girl creates in their small town. Lukas Haas is the teenager who will always remember Rose as both a provocative fantasy and a profound mystery. Special Features include: Scene-by-scene commentary by director Martha Coolidge; Interview with the director; Deleted scenes; Alternate ending. Laura Dern, Robert Duvall, Dianne Ladd, Lukas Haas

Amazon.com

This overrated period comic-drama, set in Georgia in the 1930s, featured the first mother-daughter team to be nominated for acting Oscars in the same year. Laura Dern plays a free-wheeling young woman who is taken in as a domestic by an upper-class family, headed by Robert Duvall and Diane Ladd (Dern's real-life mother). Rose, who tends to let her sexual urges get the best of her, scandalizes everyone in three counties (including Duvall and Lukas Haas, who plays his son) with her willing spirit. Do those kind of loose morals warrant court-ordered sterilization? Or does this young woman just need a guiding hand? While many fell for this cornpone shtick, directed by Martha Coolidge, it's a hard movie to cozy up to because Rose is such a caricature and the rest of the characters (with the exception of the always exceptional Duvall) are such sticks. --Marshall Fine

Special Features

  • Interview with Martha Coolidge
  • Extra footage (outtakes) including an alternate finale with director's commentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Laura Dern, Robert Duvall, Diane Ladd, Lukas Haas, John Heard
  • Directors: Martha Coolidge
  • Writers: Calder Willingham
  • Producers: Edgar J. Scherick, Mario Kassar, Renny Harlin
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 1999
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305261458
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,542 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rambling Rose" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
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!
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Format: VHS Tape
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.

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.
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1 Comment 38 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
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.
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By A Customer on August 8, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: DVD
I have always found this an intriguing film, something different and appealing even though some of the subject matter is "inappropriate."

I saw the last word because it involves a 13-year-old boy whose hormones are raging and his brief relationship with a grown woman. There is one sex scene that may make people squirm a bit, so be forewarned. Other than that, I don't remember anything else objectionable.

I like the photography and always enjoy seeing the old days - here it's the 1920s and 1930s - portrayed on today's films with the great cameramen and directors of today. Also, the South has some beautiful scenery that is eloquently on display here.

The story is well-acted with real-life mother-daughter Diane Ladd and Laura Dern, along with Robert Duvall and Lukas Haas. The latter plays the young man and was already somewhat of a star after playing the young Amish boy in the 1985 film "Witness." Duvall is one of the finest actors of his generation so you always get a good performance out of him.

This is a pretty low-key story but never puts you to sleep. Modern day feminists might like this film was Ladd plays that role to the hilt. Dern also delivered, making a very believable "Rose."
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