Video Review: Aretha Franklin “A Rose Is Still A Rose”

A shivering young woman (Elise Neal), wearing a red dress, walks the streets of New York City, New York.

In a garden, Aretha Franklin sits in wicker chair. She sits at the piano.

A tulip blooms while the young woman, as a teenager, walks with her friends to the bus stop after school. The young woman notices the bus leaving and they run towards it. A young man (Q-Tip) points to the young woman. She gives one of her friends her books and gets on the young man’s motorcycle.

She and the young man start to date. They take walks around the neighborhood. She sleeps with him for the first time and he puts on his jacket. He waves goodbye to her as he leaves. She waits for him by the telephone booth.

Lauryn Hill stands by Franklin while she plays the piano.

She watches him a second young woman ride on the back of his motorcycle.

Faith Evans stands by the piano.

The young woman puts on red lipstick and a red dress. She talks with a second young man by the corner store. She gets on the back of his motorcycle.

Amel Larrieux and Changing Faces (Cassandra Lucas and Charisse Rose) clap as Franklin plays the piano.

They kiss against a building. She pushes his hands away and leaves. In black-and-white, she laughs with the first young man. She sits on the stoop of her home and cries. She walks around the neighborhood.

Franklin dances in her garden.

She touches the wooden door to Franklin’s garden and walks inside. Franklin opens her arms for a hug. The young woman cries as Franklin holds her.

Rating: 5/5

Aretha Franklin gives the daughter of a family friend the tour of her home. Franklin indicates with her arm that she reached only part of bookshelf last time she was here. Franklin points to the bedroom and says she can put her stuff down. She adds dinner is going to be soon and to come to the kitchen in fifteen minutes to help.

The young woman, wearing sweatpants and a pullover, walks downstairs and asks what she can do. Franklin points to the vegetables and says she can chop them. While Franklin pours the alfredo sauce into the pot, she asks the young woman about her friends. As the young woman stirs, she says she hasn’t talked to them in a while.

In the morning, she drives the young woman to the high school near her home and enrolls her. She explains she wants her to have appointments with the guidance counselor and in-person meetings regarding her progress. The young women next door help her with homework and take her out shopping. They tell her Franklin was like a mother to them and tell her their stories.

The young woman’s mother calls up Franklin, wanting to know about her daughter. Franklin says her daughter is doing well in school and has made some new friends. The young woman’s mother asks if there have been any boys. Franklin says her daughter is working shifts at the flower shop but says there hasn’t been any interest. Her daughter is still recovering from the shame from that guy she slept with. The young woman’s mother thanks and wants to know if it’s ok if she visits. Franklin says her daughter would like that.

Director: Lauryn Hill Year: 1998

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her poetry has been published in the White Wall Review and 45 Magazine.

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