When embarking on a mythic quest, it’s best to take the bus.
A Woman in a Wedding Dress (Eve Annenberg) hobbles along a busy Hollywood boulevard, cheeks blackened with running mascara. She is on a journey, but to where? What is she running from? From the obvious signs we know she has left a groom at the altar and is looking to disappear. She stops at Pink’s Hot Dogs for a bite, slips her iPhone into a sleeping homeless man’s shirt pocket, hops aboard a city bus, and vanishes.
Everyone has a story, each of us has a destination. From Hollywood To Rose is a quite gem of a film about the journey that each of us are on. Playing like a mix between Linklatter’s Slacker, the Coen Brother’s The Big Leboski, the film follows a woman, we never know her name, as she is running from what could have been a huge mistake. Along the way she encounters a city full of characters both eccentric and subdued, while making her way home on public transit.
“If you want to go on a little ride, see how the other half lives, and maybe pick up a little understanding along the way, just go…”
We meet The Lizard Guy (Eric Deskin) who claims to have a psychic connection with dinosaurs living at the center of the earth, The Lady in the Green Scarf (Linda Bisesti) who complains to Wedding Dress about her husband’s orgasm word, we even meet a bus driver who suffers a complete meltdown in front of his passengers (Danny Cleary). Each character breezes in and out of the narrative in a passive way, making their imprint on the action, then dissipating into the night.
It isn’t until our main character meets two well-meaning slackers (Maxx Maulion) and (Brad Herman) that we have the chance to eavesdrop on their conversation and decipher who they are. That is pretty much the entire film. We are presented with a city full of characters, each with their own story, in need of connection.
“…endearing performance by Annenberg as the bride on the run.”
From Hollywood to Rose would be nothing without the endearing performance by Annenberg as the bride on the run, in search of direction. Her wide-eyed confusion evokes both empathy and concern as we are given a nighttime tour of the city. Matt Jacobs wistful, breezy script parades characters before us in a procession of personalities and stories with an effortless skill. Jacobs’ direction, along with co-director Liz Graham, holds a sort of “fly-on-the-wall” feel that let’s us observe, eavesdrop, and contemplate.
What makes this charming film work is the respect it has for everyone’s story. Each one of the nameless faces that fades in and out of the narrative has a voice and a story that needs to be heard and understood. Nothing crosses into parody, as Jacobs is fully aware that humans are peculiar enough.
If you want to go on a little ride, see how the other half lives, and maybe pick up a little understanding along the way, just go From Hollywood to Rose. It may not be where you are headed, but what you learn along the way.
From Hollywood to Rose (2017) Directed by Liz Graham, Matt Jacobs Written by: Matt Jacobs Staring: Jack Sharpe, Eve Annenberg, Linda Bisesti
From Hollywood to Rose is worth Matinee (***).
* Norm’s Rating System: Full Price (****), Matinee (***), VOD (**), Don’t Bother (*)