In a writing and directorial debut from Matt Jacobs, who co-directed with Liz Graham, Eve Annenberg gives a five-star performance for her portrayal of Woman in Wedding Dress in the quirky late night adventure story, From Hollywood to Rose.
We start off the story not knowing if our protagonist is a runaway bride or if she was left at the altar. She’s a middle-aged woman of few words hobbling down Hollywood Boulevard in an eccentric wedding dress and a large bow upon her head, with tear and mascara-stained cheeks.
She discards a meowing cell phone in a sleeping homeless man’s shirt pocket, and after stopping at Pink’s for a hot dog, she hops on a bus into the night. This isn’t where her story starts, but it’s where the nightly adventure — and the film — begins.
From Hollywood to Rose: An Absurd and Charming Late Night Adventure
Woman in Wedding Dress is searching for her place to be. She doesn’t know where it is yet; she just knows where it isn’t and decides to go where the night leads her. On her quest to find her place, she meets some interesting and eccentric characters on this odd LA night.
She gets on the bus and is immediately off to a rough start, drawing attention to herself for being shortchanged and is razzed by another woman for her big-bowed veil (which is given back to her). Oddballs come and go through the narrative as the night goes on and they get on and off the bus at different places. Many talk to her, and she says nothing, reacting only with expressive facial expressions — which is sometimes just a blank stare. She speaks to a few and when she does, it shows that she’s actually been listening to what they have to say, encouraging them to go on, even if she doesn’t add much more than that.
The B-story also follows two sci-fi geek fanboy slackers from the start, Man in X-Man Shirt (Bradley J. Herman) and Man in Cargo Pants (Maxx Maulion). We are first introduced to these two as they’re sitting in their car watching a Nun (Margaret Fennell Flynn) get onto a bus, discussing whether or not she’s a real nun, if she upholds her celibacy vows or if it’s a possible drug dealer in disguise. When they turn their ignition key and find that the car won’t turn on, they’re left with no choice but to get on the bus.
At the Intersection of Conversation and Friendship
When the two storylines intersect and the three characters become acquainted, Woman in Wedding Dress opens up more about who she is and the audience gets to know a little about how she ended up where she’s at.
The trio gets off the bus and get some food together, where they have more authentic conversations that allow them to get to know each other better, inviting each other (and the audience) into little glimpses of who they are. There’s a subtle chemistry and likeness between them. Their interaction is coy and charming.
A subtle meet-cute love story develops, which appears to unfold organically and unforced between Woman in Wedding Dress and Man in X-Man Shirt as Man in Cargo Pants unintentionally becomes a temporary third wheel.
They have a mini off-bus adventure of their own, and while they make an attempt to enjoy a late night serving of frozen yogurt, Woman in Wedding Dress has an encounter with an angry woman. The angry woman turns out to be the sister of the would-be-groom. A food fight ensues which gets all of them thrown out of the establishment, forcing them to forgo their fro-yo.
When it’s time for the trio to part ways, a failed attempt at trying to exchange contact information leaves Man in X-man Shirt onto a new quest of his own now. Without knowing her name or having anything other than email handle of “shorty4eyes” but not knowing what service provider she uses, he is sure he will somehow be able to track her down and find her again.
Performances and Applause
Annenberg carries this film like a champion. She’s quirky and intriguing, with just enough charm to keep you tuned in and curious to find out what someone might say to her or what she might say next.
Each one of the actors gives their all to their performance. Every character that we met on the bus along the way introduces us to any number of stereotyped oddballs one might run into on any given night in LA.
The writing is clever, witty and successfully creates an interesting story with believable and well rounded characters. The end reveals much more depth than the beginning leads you to believe, when Woman in Wedding Dress finds the much discussed jilted ex-groom-to-be, Stanley (Dave Wilder) waiting for her because he knew exactly where to find her.
Very few of the characters in this film are given actual names. Woman in Wedding Dress is the name given for our lead character, though her former groom-to-be is called Stanley. From Hollywood to Rose has a voyeuristic appeal, as if we’re just following people around on a strange night. It’s low-key, with a simple, easy-to-follow concept and low budget, but it’s also a unique piece that hasn’t already been done a million times over.
The Woman in Wedding Dress is an intriguing character: without saying much, she captures our interest and draws upon our curiosity to want to know more. From Hollywood to Rose is a perfectly unpolished little gem that draws you in without you even realizing it until the end.
Have you had any strange late night adventures that would make a good movie? Tell us about it in the comments!
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