Though her employers, the ever-genteel Daddy and Mother (Duvall and Ladd) welcome her with open arms, 19-year-old housekeeper Rose (Dern) proves a difficult addition to their household. Thirteen-year-old Buddy (Haas) is hopelessly smitten; and Rose develops a crush on Daddy. She's out to find Mr Right, which involves wearing skimpy dresses and sleeping with one boyfriend after another. Calder Willingham's adaptation of his own novel is set in the pre-war South of his youth; instead of prompting jealousy, Rose's promiscuous behaviour causes Mother to rail against the South's tradition of oppression; and when the terrible truths of Rose's past are revealed, Mother's defence of the girl provides an electrifying climax. The performances are first-rate as emotions shift between confusion and confrontation; and Willingham's intelligent script combines humour, idiosyncratic observation, and lingering tenderness.
Cast and crew