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Get To Know Dinky Bossetti

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I have always had a problem when someone (or an Internet quiz) asks me what my favorite movie is.

1. Movies are not my medium of choice. Television is.

2. Several come to mind, but none seem good enough to be called my all-time favorite.

But when I pulled Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael off my overflowing DVD shelf today, I knew that I might have a winner. I have watched this movie numerous times over the years.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael is a movie starring Winona Ryder. Now, you might think that an 80’s movie starring Winona Ryder was of course a huge hit. But it wasn’t. You probably have never even heard of it. It was more offbeat than her usual offbeat.

In the movie they talk about how bad her hair is.  But I would look at this pic and wish mine looked that good. Photo: TV Guide, April 13, 1991

In the movie they talk about how bad her hair is. But I would look at this pic and wish mine looked that good.
Photo: TV Guide, April 13, 1991

I think the biggest reason it was not a hit was that it was a very 80’s movie…that came out in 1990. By then, the world was moving on from big hair and poofy clothes. It actually works in the movie, because it takes place in tiny Clyde, Ohio. You are supposed to get the impression that they are rural and behind the times. But that didn’t come across in the movie previews.

The main young guy in the movie that has a crush on Winona’s character, and she on him, isn’t exactly heartthrob material. Instead of a Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles, Gerald is more of a wannabe Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. We see how much he cares for Dinky by how he stalks her.

Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael also suffers because while it stars Ryder, much of the action and story of the film focuses on the adults around her in her life. Her adopted parents struggle with Ryder’s antisocial behavior. Ryder herself clings on to her guidance counselor and the local landscaper as mother and father role models, respectively. (Whoa. I never quite realized that until I just now typed it.) We also become involved in the life of the former best friend who is returning to town, which leads us to…

The fact that while the movie is called Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, and Winona Ryder is the lead, she does not, in fact, play Roxy Carmichael. Ryder plays Dinky Bossetti. The audience never even SEES Roxy Carmichael’s face, and SPOILER ALERT, Roxy never, in fact, returns home.

So, it is a teen movie featuring adults. Or an adult movie with teens, I’m not sure. It is a movie behind its time in fashion and moral. But a bit ahead of its time, in that it does contain a big gay reveal for two of its characters. And a disappointing departure for a Winona Ryder film, in that she does not in fact lose her virginity in this one 😦

I believe I always deeply connected with this film not because of the large amount of carpet samples, but because it shows that no matter what your family looks like, as a teenager, you just don’t fit. Anywhere. EVER!

I watched this movie the morning of my high school graduation on HBO. It perfectly echoed everything I felt about my school career that would be officially ending in a few hours. From the scene where Dinky tries to make herself more attractive, only to end up on the school bus floor, to finding that you can’t make the world fit what you want it to be, you have to find a way to fit into your world (wow, deep).

The bus floor grime is highly realistic. So are the cafeteria horrors that she endures. The costumer dresses her in dog tags, hoodies, and boots to illustrate her anti-social tendencies.

Wait…that is what I wore in high school. Hmmm. Was I too cool to care what I looked like? Ahead of my time? Or just horribly dorky? These are rhetorical questions.

There was something fitting about her sitting on the lawn in the pink floofy dress, eating ice cream with Gerald and his new braces at the end that made me know everything would still be hard, but it would be OK.

Many other great things about this movie that I would rather list than try to fit into paragraph form:

My favorite quote from the movie:

“It’s good to want things.”

Dinky says it to Gerald, and he later turns around and uses it on her. It is applicable to tons of real-life situations.

Gosh, and I forgot to mention Melissa Etheridge’s great version of the central song in the movie “In Roxy’s Eyes (I Will Never Be The Same)”. We find out that Roxy Carmichael is only famous because a singer made her the object of a hit song. But, as an audience, we believe it, because Etheridge wrote and belts out a REALLY great song.

Or the other fine quote: “I’m gonna laugh at you someday Gerald Howells.” I want to say that to many of my former classmates.

Or the work of the always excellent Jeff Daniels, proud Michigan native, resident (30 miles to my north in the land of Jiffy Mixes), and friend of Adrian College. Daniels always plays such likeable characters, and he is good-looking. My best friend and I were going to stalk him one night, but she was driving and she chickened out. (I would not have.)

The school counselor: That’s a funny analogy.
Dinky: I’m here to amuse.

AND ALMOND ROCAS! Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael really plays as a giant Almond Roca commercial. I had never heard of this candy until I saw this movie. And then it would be another 20 years before I would actually see them in stores and try them. Soooo yummy, by the way.

“Dave, don’t be a cliché.” In the movie, this is told to a pig trying to steal another animal’s food. I tell it to my dog when she tries to pee on fire hydrants.

The movie also featured a great supporting cast of Dinah Manoff, Stephen Tobolowsky, Robin Thomas, and Micole Mercurio.

I feel like I am the only person out there who ever saw and/or loved this movie. Although that cannot be true, because it was released in DVD. So, if you are out there, please give me a shoutout.

BONUS MOM RANT: Oh, and FYI, the morning of my high school graduation my mom wanted to clean the bathroom after her shower, but before mine, so that when my gramma came, it would be clean. Except my gramma came over once a month or so, she had seen our bathroom dirty before. And my mom almost made me late for my own graduation because she just had to clean the bathroom.



A few weeks ago, I talked about the TV show “Phenom”, and said that I would have more Sara Rue for you. And, here it is…

Years ago on NBC, there was a little TV show called Grand. The details of the show are very foggy to me now. But I always make a point to think of the title every now and then so that I don’t forget it. I search for DVD of it. I search for it. I search Nexflix to stream it.

Hmmm.  When was this available on DVD?  Not now... Photo:

Hmmm. When was this available on DVD? Not now…

No luck. And that is no big surprise. It is not a show that anyone would still want to view. Except for me.

It didn’t have any super famous stars. It didn’t create any breakout stars during its barely two season run. Although there were many fine character actors. It was offbeat at a time before people were into that. It would probably be a huge hit now, in a time of 30 Rock and New Girl quirkiness.

Grand was the name of the town in which the show took place. What I remember about the show most is that it was soap opera like. I mean, there was a lot of comedy and it took place in situations, so I guess it was mostly a sitcom. But it was a sitcom wanting to be a soap opera, in the same way that the classic TV comedy “Soap” was. There was a rich family and a poor family. The poor family featured a mother and a daughter, played by Pamela Reed and Sara Rue, who lived in a trailer. Being a daughter who lived with her mother in a trailer at the time, I deeply identified with them. They were my favorite characters. I believe Pamela Reed worked as a maid for the rich family. I also believe that they had the most realistic set of a trailer I had ever seen depicted on TV. It conveyed how cramped it was to live in one, always on top of each other.

There was also a cute policeman played by Andrew Lauer. He was on every show at that time (Going to Extremes, Caroline in the City). Sara Rue’s character was in love with him. (I was too.)

Everyone on the show seemed to be an oddball. Pamela Reed’s character often seemed like the only semi-normal one. Maybe that is why I liked her the best and remember her the most.

I wanted to write about this show:

1. So that I don’t have to hold this information in my head any longer.

2. Maybe this post will help others remember this show.

3. Maybe someone will see my post and actually release this on DVD, so that I can watch it again.

4. Maybe Sara Rue will send me a “What’s up, girl?” on Twitter. (I don’t know her. But she seems like she has a “What’s up, girl?” personality, doesn’t she? I always watched her on Less Than Perfect, with Andy Dick and Sherri Shepherd.

The cast of Less Than Perfect, Sara Rue - center

The cast of Less Than Perfect, Sara Rue – center

5. My blog gets many hits from people searching for the show Homefront daily. I am lucky to remember a high level of facts about it. I feel people are search on the Internet for random scraps of knowledge to find out what that show was that they loved about life in America, just after WWII. They are grasping on to tiny little facts about Homefront, as I am about Grand.

So, in order to be a more useful search engine result, I am going to supplement my limited memories from above with this info from

GRAND (1990)

Pamela Reed … Janice Pasetti
Bonnie Hunt … Carol Anne Smithson
John Neville … Desmond
Joel Murray … Norris Weldon
Sara Rue … Edda Pasetti
John Randolph … Harris Weldon
Mark Moses … Richard Peyton
Jackey Vinson … Dylan
Michael McKean … Tom Smithson
Andrew Lauer … Off. Wayne Kasmurski

This is about the total amount of footage from the show that I could scrap up on YouTube for you enjoyment:

Interested in my Top Ten Favorite TV Shows of all time? Please click on the tab at the top of the page!

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