Flix Fix: Every rose has its thorn
Aug. 7, 2013 at 3:07 a.m.
It takes you back to the night spent on a train, half trying to fall to sleep, half trying to keep track of your surroundings.
The wreck you always meant to avoid but couldn't despite your best efforts.
Bette Midler is all sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll embodied in a young, thin frame in the 1979 film "The Rose."
"I wish I had known you in high school," Rose said wrapped up in white, crisp hotel sheets to her driver, whom she seduced the night before.
Toward the film's start, a series of 1960s rockers step out of Mary Rose Foster's personalized tour plane.
Rose comes out stumbling, almost falling, then falling and then breaking a bottle of alcohol that slips out of her gypsy-like clothing.
And then she meets Houston, a cowboy with roots like her. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Paul Varjak, anyone?
Houston's a soldier gone AWOL working as chauffeur when he meets a crying, bedraggled Rose.
The subtle references to Texas in "The Rose" make the Janis Joplin-inspired rock star memoir a fun watch.
Houston does his best to care and love the wild, thorn-laden star, but despite his best efforts, Rose slips through his fingers and back into the gutter.
What's great about "The Rose" is that despite its gritty, cliche rock 'n' roll story, there's an essence of innocence and tragedy that's easy to enjoy.
And if you're a Joplin fan, comparing her actual storyline and roots trailing back to Port Arthur is a ball of yarn worth unwinding.
The film ends in Florida, the fictional Joplin's home state, as she exercises the remainder of her demons on stage.
The best scene in the film is perhaps the quietest one.
The camera starts out high with Rose inside a telephone booth positioned at the bottom right corner of the screen.
Bright, ominous stadium lights watch the homecoming queen as she slips back into an old habit.
The zoom is slow before a cut to a syringe falling from the rock star's trembling hands.
As someone who had only seen Midler in her later years before recently, seeing her in this bedazzling personification of Joplin was indeed a treat.
And it's hard to imagine anyone else in this role.
In a June MSN.com interview, Amy Adams, who has been cast to play the deceased rock star in "Janis Joplin: Get It While You Can," said she's "concerned her singing will not match up to the singer's famous voice."
From her wild, shattering scream reminiscent of her bewitching role in "Hocus Pocus" (1993) to her curly blonde lion's mane, lavender-laden wardrobe and larger than life adaptation of Joplin, Midler is the "Rose."