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Sunday, July 13, 2014

DVD Review: Aloha, Bobby And Rose

The best decade for film was the 1970s. No question about it. And yes, that’s even with taking into consideration such awful films as The Duchess And The Dirtwater Fox, Harper Valley PTA and The Bad News Bears Go To Japan. A really good film from that decade that I had somehow missed until now is Aloha, Bobby And Rose, starring Paul Le Mat and Dianne Hull. It is being issued on DVD through Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory.

It opens with a woman reminiscing about the 1940s. She tells her daughter: “Oh, honey, you should have seen Hollywood in the forties. Things were more romantic then.” She talks to her daughter about how she quit her job, and about a good-looking man that she met. “The good ones don’t come along every day, but when they do…” And you might expect that the film would then go back to the 1940s. But Elton John’s “Bennie And The Jets” plays during the opening credits. This is no flashback film.

We’re introduced to Bobby (Paul Le Mat), who is losing money in a pool hall, money he doesn’t have. After promising to deliver the money the next night, Bobby goes cruising while an Emerson, Lake And Palmer song plays. (There is a lot of great music in this film, including several songs from Elton John.) Seeing Paul Le Mat cruising of course makes me think of American Graffiti, which had come out only two years earlier. And as in that film, Paul Le Mat is pulled over by the cops. And as in that movie, Paul Le Mat does a little road racing. And that’s all in the first ten minutes of the film. (And like that film, this one takes place over a short period of time.)

Bobby works as a mechanic in a garage, along with his friend Moxey (played by a young Robert Carradine – this was nearly a decade before Revenge Of The Nerds), who is applying to go to transmission school so that he can make more money. While working, Bobby meets Rose, and the two are almost immediately attracted to one another. Perhaps part of Rose’s willingness to follow her heart is due to the speech her mother gave her at the beginning of the film.

The film takes place in Los Angeles, and on their first date, they drive around the city (visiting Pink’s, driving by Tower Records and Rainbow Bar And Grill on Sunset, and seeing large billboards for records such as The Rolling Stones’ Goats Head Soup). All of this footage is wonderful. And they joke around, getting to know each other. When Rose shows Bobby some photos, Bobby asks, “Is that your father?” “That’s my dog!” Rose exclaims (her delivery is adorable). Bobby responds, “Oh, I thought it was a guy with a mustache on his hands and knees.” They talk about going to Hawaii, though it’s obvious they can’t possibly afford it. Rose says, “Every time I plan something, it just never works out.”

Later in the date, a little, seemingly harmless prank at a convenience store leads to serious trouble.

This entire movie is excellent, but the scene where they crash their car (to “The Loco-motion”) is fantastic. I’ve never seen it done quite like that before. It’s intense, believable, and almost beautiful. The scene where the police help Bobby is also really good. The film has a very honest, real feel to it, and great performances by the two leads. I also love the way this film was shot. Things are allowed to be in shadow when they should be.

Aloha, Bobby And Rose was written and directed by Floyd Mutrux, and is scheduled to be released on DVD on July 29, 2014 through Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory. The DVD includes the film’s trailer.

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