Rosalie Goes Shopping Review

In a small town in Arkansas, Rosalie (Marianne Sägebrecht) is the German-born wife of Ray Greenspace (Brad Davis). They have two children. However, Rosalie's shopaholic tendencies are getting out of hand, and after a few bounced checks and maxed-out credit cards things look bleak. Her only confidante is the local Catholic priest (Judge Reinhold), who cannot tell anyone due to the seal of the confessional. Then, with a gift of a PC and modem for her daughter, Rosalie discovers computer hacking...

German writer-director Percy Adlon first became known to British arthouse audiences with his film Céleste, a study of Marcel Proust from the point of view of his housekeeper. He hit his peak with a loose trilogy of films starring the zaftig German actress Marianne Sägebrecht. Céleste, which I have not seen, is a traditional-style arthouse film, but Sugarbaby, the story of an overweight woman (played by Sägebrecht) searching for love, there came a change of style, marked by a light, quirky comic tone and a bold use of colours, especially neon blues and pinks. This continued with the English-language, American-set Out of Rosenheim (better known internationally as Bagdad Cafe), the best of the three Sägebrecht films, of which Rosalie Goes Shopping, also English-language, is the last and least

Bernd Heinl's camerawork is certainly easy on the eye, and the songs on the soundtrack are pleasant. But there's a line between light quirkiness and inconsequence and triteness, and Rosalie Goes Shopping falls on the wrong side of it. Moreover, for all its seeming charm, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth, possibly more of one than it did on its first release. For this is a film that, without apparent irony, seems to suggest that monetary fraud is a fun lifestyle choice, and possibly even a way for the little guy or girl to get back at the system. This was a point seemingly not lost on the BBFC, who gave Rosalie a 15 certificate instead of the PG it would otherwise warrant. In times of credit crunch, this film is not funny at all.

After his three Sägebrecht films, Adlon continued to work in English, but UK audience's taste for his work soon waned. Salmonberries (1991), an Alaskan-set lesbian love story starring k.d. lang, was the last of his films to have a British cinema release. Younger and Younger (1993) went straight to video, and nothing Adlon has made since has been shown in the UK.

The Disc:

Drakes Avenue's DVD release of Rosalie Goes Shopping is a single-layered disc encoded for Region 2 only.

The DVD transfer is anamorphic, slightly wider than 1.78:1, which would tie in with a theatrical ratio of 1.85:1. The picture is a little soft, but certainly colourful, and pretty much what I remember from my one previous viewing of this film, at the London Film Festival in 1989.

The film was released with a Dolby Stereo soundtrack, which is the source of the Dolby Surround (2.0) track on this DVD. This track announces itself straight away with the surround-sound airplane at the beginning. Dialogue is mixed quite low, but that's intentional – check out the very loud surround-sound motorbike twenty minutes in.

There are no subtitles and no extras.

Category Capsule Review

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