Written by / 4/19/2011 / 1 Comment / , , , , ,

THE WOMAN WHO LOVED ELVIS

Year: 1993 Rating: ***1/2
title: THE WOMAN WHO LOVED ELVIS
year: 1993
cast: Roseanne, Sally Kirkland, Cynthia Gibb, Danielle Harris, 

Roseanne fans won’t be disappointed in (and haters will be surprised by) this TV-movie about an Elvis Presley zealot who, raising two daughters, is flagged by the government for a questionable income. Enter Cynthia Gibb as a sympathetic Social Worker who initially investigates Roseanne, and then befriends her. Gibb's buried lead provides Barr the chance to be a character-actress since it's through her younger, more naive eyes that the initial story unveils. But the best moments are with Sally Kirkland as Roseanne's sidekick, both making an adventurous modern day Lucy and Ethel. Whenever Kirkland’s on screen, Roseanne's performance seems that much sharper; as does the storyline that, when straying from the duo and centering on Gibb’s workplace romance with a badly cast dolt, sinks into fluffy melodrama. And last but not least, future scream queen/then child actress Danielle Harris as the vulnerable if mopey daughter, trying to avoid embarrassment from her classmates because of her mom; if an character needs the most motivation here, it's her. The only square peg is frumpy Tom Arnold acting like he's a Clint Eastwood type of "real man": something wife Rosanne pushed for years until their divorce, and his separate fame after TRUE LIES. Directed by Bill Bixby (who Kirkland appeared with on THE INCREDIBLE HULK), this is an effective time-filler as good as any lightweight theatrical fare.
Danielle Harris in THE WOMAN WHO LOVED ELVIS
Danielle Harris with Kimberly Dal Santo in THE WOMAN WHO LOVED ELVIS
Sally Kirkland, who co-starred and coached acting to Rosanne Arnold who'd be back to Barr in a year
Rosanne Barr (Arnold) with Danielle Harris
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