Rambling Rose Reviews
Robert Duvall is his dependably excellent self as Daddy and it is to his credit that he finds the balance in his character, who could have come off as an ogre, and makes us like and respect him. Also Oscar nominated was Diane Ladd as Mother and she gives a performance of great strength and dignity, vital in the last act of the film.
Then 14 Lukas Haas again shows that he was one of a very few child actors who aren't monumentally annoying. His strong performance may be down to a real understanding of being a hormonal teenager or it may simply be that he WAS a hormonal teenager, but it works and he's a fine partner for Dern in their scenes together.
Martha Coolidge strikes a fine balance between the more sexual elements of the story and the sweetness of the tone of the film, never more so than in the film's outstanding scene where Rose asks if she can get in bed with Buddy and he uses this oppurtunity to get her to let him explore her body. This could be deeply unsavoury but the dialogue takes that out of it, making it about a curious boy and a desperate, confused girl and it ends up being a sweet scene in spite of itself.
The film also tiptoes between comedy and drama, but it's strongest when mixing the two, as with Dern's lovely line about being "Only a human girl person".
An excellent character piece, with terrific performances from all concerned, Rambling Rose is the kind of movie that they just don't make enough of.