HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
APRIL 29,2005 15
She tries hard, but Rosie O'Donnell isn't
convincing as a developmental^ disabled
woman in 'Riding the Bus with My Sister.'
A i Jf «
Rosie O'Donnell (left) stars as a developmentally disabled woman entrusted to the care of her sister, played
by Andie MacDowell, in CBS' 'Riding the Bus with My Sister,' which airs this Sunday at 9 p.m
A busload of problems
LEAVE IT TO A SHOPPING CART TO
reveal the biggest problem with "Riding
the Bus with My Sister," a new Hallmark
Hall of Fame movie that airs on CBS
Sunday, May 1, at 9 p.m.
In an early scene, Beth, a developmentally disabled woman played by former
talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, refuses
to put away her shopping cart after a trip
to the supermarket. This is much to the
chagrin of her older sister, Rachel (Andie
MacDowell), who is entrusted with her
sister's care after their father's death.
"I know why dad called you 'the sheriff,'" MacDowell's Rachel tells her sister.
"Because you always get what you want."
Rachel then puts the cart away herself,
while Beth laughs and claps. And herein lies
the problem. As much as Rachel is trying to
improve Beth's life by setting boundaries and
making her take responsibility, she always
ends up caving in to her sister's desires.
Why is this? It appears to be because
Rachel can't blame Beth for being born
with a developmental disability Rachel
also appears to feel slightly guilty that
she was born without a disability.
BUT AS HARD AS O'DONNELL TRIES TO
transform herself into Beth, the movie
just doesn't work. Under director
Anjelica Huston, Beth has the speech,
tics and traits often found with develop-
mentally disabled people, but she just
doesn't seem believable.
O'Donnell seemed much more believ-
'Riding the Bus with My Sister'
Sunday, May 1
able in 1992 playing Doris Murphy, a
third-base player in "A League of Then-
Own," and in 1993 when she portrayed
assistant D.A. Gina Garrett in 'Another
Stakeout." She seemed to succeed in
those films because she was more or less
playing Rosie O'Donnell.
Maybe O'Donnell's portrayal of Beth falls
short because we all know so much about
her real life: her activism, her loving partner
and their handful of adopted kids back
home. She just doesn't have the seamless
believability ot say Dustin Hoffman in "Rain
MacDowell, who has always been more
beautiful than impressive as an actress, does
a better job here. And all she has to do is
(finally) not look like she's actually acting.
But this movie has other problems. As a
Hallmark Hall of Fame film, it doesn't deviate from the basic, sentimental formula of
all the 200-plus franchise movies that came
before this one. Based on a book of the same
name by Rachel Simon, the film's main
character Rachel initially doesn't want to be
bothered with her sister, who spends her
days riding the buses in an unnamed city
Rachel views Beth as a burden and doesn't want to give up her own life in New York
as a photographer to take care of her. Of
course, she eventually learns about the
beauty of life from Beth and the family her
sister has created among the drivers and
regular passengers on the bus line. In the
end, Rachel can't imagine life without Beth.
Just from hearing this premise, you
pretty much already know how the plot is
going to unfold, and the predictable
script doesn't disappoint. If you like
making pasty paper balls by crying into
tissues on your couch, go ahead and
Otherwise, don't bother with this
For tickets: 713-228-OPERA (6737)'
<^bak&MM2W <Sb CKJW&
Don't miss two grand productions based on immortal works of Shakespeare.
Romeo and Juliet stars Ramon Vargas and Ana Maria Martinez as the famous lowers
in a story of innocence and heartbreak. International superstar Bryn Terfel portrays
another side of love as the "fat knight" Faistaff, whose unrequited love for Alice Ford
—soprano Patricia Racette—will have you laughing out loud.
Romeo and Juliet
April 22, 24, 27* 29, May 6,* 8
Corporate Grand Guarantor:
SHELL OIL COMPANY FOUNDATION
April 28, May 1, 4,* 7, 13,* 15
Corporate Guarantor and Media Partner: Time Warner Cable
Corporate Guarantor: Anadarko Petroleum
Grand Guarantor; Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation
"Special discounted performances. Call for details.
OUR SALES TEAM
A wide selection
--- Designer Watches
** at competitive prices.
Rcsnster for a free watch.
Your agent. Your advocate.
Rob Schmerler Insurance Agency
6575 Wesl loop South, Suite 185
Beliaire, Texas 77401
713.661.7700 Rob Schmerler^
Auto Home Renters Life Health Business