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1998-2000 C. Petrovic

Roxy Relationships was originally written June 95. Revised July 98. All rights reserved. In the unlikely event that anyone wants to use or reproduce this essay, please ask my permission before doing so. Thanks.

Roxy Relationships was originally written June 95. Revised July 98. All rights reserved. In the unlikely event that anyone wants to use or reproduce this essay, please ask my permission before doing so. Thanks.

Roxy Relationships by: Chris Petrovic

       We never clearly see the title character, (hmmm, maybe that's 
     symbolic since everyone else has a rather distorted view of her 
     too) and the movie, while presumably centred around that famous 
     lady's much anticipated homecoming, actually revolves around 
     Dinky Bossetti (Winona). 

       She's a 15 year old who doesn't fit in at school, and at the 
     beginning, has no friends except for the stray animals she takes
     care of. Her less-than-ideal relationship with her peers stems 
     from their fear of the unusual, and lack of appreciation for the 
     unique. Not to mention her above-average intelligence. That's not 
     why the others tease and torment her though. On the contrary, 
     Dinky's classmates consider her to be inferior, merely because
     she's an eccentric non-conformist who pays little attention to 
     typical teen things like fashion and popularity. 

       Of all the kids we see, there's one guy who's perceptive enough
     to recognize Dinky's good qualities. However, Gerald has a tough 
     time choosing between her and his flock of followers. Why must he 
     choose at all? Well it's made clear that the popular, "normal", 
     and consequently quite dull kids, would not accept the quirky town 
     misfit into their exclusive clique. 

       What Gerald doesn't realize at first is that he's fallen for 
     Dinky precisely because she's unlike anyone he's ever met. At 
     the same time he wishes she would change just enough to fit in 
     with his other friends. Gerald already has a superficial, and
     "acceptable" girl hanging around him, yet he's drawn to Dinky.
     Although he follows her around, Gerald feels torn and afraid of 
     losing his high status. Apparently he wants the best of both 
     worlds, hoping Dinky will be herself in private, and then switch
     gears and wear an "I'm the same as you" mask in public.

       While Gerald's dithering, Dinky captures the attention and 
     compassion of a guidance counselor named Elizabeth. Though the 
     oft-rejected teen is initially unable to trust her, they gradually 
     become friends. As they grow closer Dinky discovers that Elizabeth 
     has given up her dream of being a writer, after the commercial 
     failure of her first book. She ends up inspiring her counselor 
     to believe in herself and keep on writing, for herself, regardless 
     of anyone else's opinions.

       Elizabeth proves to be as positive an influence on Dinky. She
     sympathizes with Dinky's problems but won't allow her to wallow 
     in self-pity. Instead she shows the defensive girl that she's 
     partly to blame for her own isolation, and that it's possible 
     to be friendly without compromising her individuality. Dinky 
     doesn't want to pretend to be someone she isn't or bend over 
     backwards trying to be likeable, but Elizabeth teaches her that 
     she shouldn't assume the world's against her and keep everyone 
     at arm's length either. Each of them learns something from the 
     other: Dinky to think more of other people, and Elizabeth to 
     think more of herself. (and less of public opinion)

       Dinky's relationship with her adoptive parents isn't close. 
     They don't understand her "tomboyish" ways and love of animals. 
     Dinky feels more affectionate towards her father, but she just 
     can't relate (pardon the pun) to her mother. Mrs. Bossetti is 
     disappointed over not having a more "feminine", lady-like, doll-
     loving daughter. She's even thinking of shipping Dinky off to a
     boarding school, in hopes of making her more refined. Naturally 
     this would feel like prison to Dinky, and would interfere with 
     her goal to become a veterinarian. Witnessing her parent's dis-
     satisfaction and desire to change her, it's no wonder Dinky 
     believes her parents don't love her. She desperately yearns to 
     be loved and accepted for who she is.

       Under the circumstances, what could be more natural than for 
     Dinky to imagine what her real birth-parents are like? Amidst 
     all the excitement generated by the expected visit of their 
     hometown heroine, Roxy Carmichael, Dinky learns that one of her 
     neighbours, Denton, was once involved with Roxy. In fact he's 
     still rather obsessed with her, despite having long since 
     married someone else. This relationship with Roxy resulted in 
     a child who was given up for adoption. 

       Soon Dinky starts to speculate that she might be the daughter 
     Roxy abandoned fifteen years ago. Wishful thinking leads to
     research, and yields interesting information; we learn that Roxy 
     was a misunderstood genius who adored animals and abhored her 
     hometown. Dinky can identify. These similarities, along with her 
     feeling of not belonging, convince Dinky that Roxy's true reason 
     for returning is to be reunited with her long-lost daughter...
     in other words, to come for Dinky.

       She packs her things and runs away to prepare for Roxy's 
     arrival, first making sure Elizabeth will take care of her 
     animals when she is gone. Gerald is worried and seeks Denton's 
     assistance in finding her, telling him of Dinky's belief that 
     Roxy's her real mom. When she goes missing, Mr. & Mrs. Bossetti 
     wake up to how much they love their daughter; all plans to send 
     her away are abruptly discarded. 

       As you've probably gathered, Roxy Carmichael lets everyone 
     down by deciding not to come to her celebration at the last 
     minute. This is disappointing enough, but Dinky feels even 
     worse when Denton tells her she can't possibly be the daughter 
     he and Roxy had years ago, because that baby died soon after 
     being adopted. Remembering how flighty and unreliable Roxy was, 
     and evidently still is, Denton finally gets over losing her and 
     burns all the letters and mementos he's cherished for so long. 
     This heals the rift between him and his wife at last.
       Meanwhile, Dinky grieves and mourns the death of her dream. 
     Although she is shattered when she learns the news, she can 
     eventually laugh at how silly she was. Things are better at home 
     and the Bossettis are more of a family now. Elizabeth's on the 
     road to fulfilling her literary ambitions and is a true friend.

       By the end of the film, Gerald has openly stated his feelings 
     for Dinky, not caring about anyone's reactions; he has grown up 
     a bit, being much less concerned with appearances. Gerald even 
     gets braces put on his teeth "for Dinky", making himself "ugly",
     to his buddies' dismay. It's sort of a symbolic gesture. Dinky's
     finally found acceptance and a feeling of belonging. So the last
     line of the film, spoken by Gerald, couldn't be more appropriate.

       "Welcome home, Dinky Bossetti."