Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael

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Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Welcome home roxy carmichael poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jim Abrahams
Produced by Penney Finkelman Cox
Written by Karen Leigh Hopkins
Music by Melissa Etheridge
Thomas Newman
Cinematography Paul Elliott
Edited by Bruce Green
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • October 12, 1990 (1990-10-12)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $13 million
Box office $3,989,297

Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael is a 1990 American comedy-drama film starring Winona Ryder and Jeff Daniels.


The film's main character is a 15-year-old girl named Dinky Bossetti (Ryder). Dinky was adopted as a baby. She appears to have little acceptance in her social circle, although it is not obvious which came first - her antisocial attitude or her being rejected by her peers. Her adoptive mother is disappointed that the daughter she chose has no interest in "feminine" things, such as makeup and nice clothing. Her classmates ostracize, taunt, and throw things at her regularly. Dinky finds solace in her "Ark", a small cabin-boat beached on a lake shore. In and around the boat, Dinky has collected a menagerie of abandoned animals.

As the story begins, Dinky is befriended by a new school guidance counselor, who recognizes her intelligence and spirit. Dinky becomes convinced that she is the abandoned daughter of Roxy Carmichael, a minor film star who left town for Hollywood 15 years ago after giving birth to a baby girl out of wedlock. Miss Carmichael has been invited to return to town to assist in the dedication of a new municipal building, and she has accepted. The news of her return stirs up old jealousies and insecurities: old schoolmates start acting in irrational ways, while Denton Webb (Jeff Daniels), the husband she abandoned when she left town, becomes so obsessed by the idea of her return that his wife moves out.

As the date for Roxy's return draws nearer, Dinky becomes more and more desperate to prove that she is Roxy's daughter, visiting the star's childhood home (which is maintained as a museum), and obsessively questioning Denton about what happened the night she left, believing that Roxy will take her away to a new life. On the day that Roxy is due to arrive, Dinky packs her suitcase and arrives at the welcoming ceremony in a beautiful dress. Her adoptive mother has invited representatives from a foster home so she can send Dinky away, but her husband (who has been silent around his strident, unloving spouse) leaves in disgust and angrily tells her "I'm going find Dinky. I'm going to FIND OUR DAUGHTER." A limousine draws up, but a man gets out with a note of explanation: Roxy has not come back. Before the limousine can drive away, Dinky runs after it. Denton catches up with her and tells her the whole story (having realized the reason for Dinky's obsession with Roxy): although Roxy did have a baby, and did leave it with him, the baby died. Roxy is not Dinky's mother.

Left with nothing, Dinky is rescued by Gerald Howells, a popular boy who has become increasingly interested in her. At first, Dinky is suspicious of his interest, but the end of the film shows them together in a relationship where she finally holds the upper hand as things return to normal in the town.

Featured cast[edit]

Actor Role
Graham Beckel Les Bossetti
Thomas Wilson Brown Gerald Howells
Jeff Daniels Denton Webb
Terrence Evans First Man at Legion Hall
Ava Fabian Roxy Carmichael
Frances Fisher Rochelle Bossetti
Carla Gugino Young Roxy Carmichael
Beth Grant Lillian Logerfield
Valerie Landsburg Miss Day Ashburn
Dinah Manoff Evelyn Whittacher
Joan McMurtrey Barbara Webb
Micole Mercurio Louise Garweski
Ron Perkins Will Groom
Laila Robins Elizabeth Zaks
Winona Ryder Dinky Bossetti
Robin Thomas Scotty Sandholtzer
Stephen Tobolowsky Mayor Bill Klepler

Production notes[edit]

In the film, the town is called Clyde, Ohio, a real town in Ohio, where parts of it were filmed. Some filming was done in Sandusky, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie.


Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael received fairly mixed reviews and clocked with 44% on Rotten Tomatoes.

One of the most outspoken detractors of the film was Variety, whose comments about it were that "fans of Winona Ryder will definitely want to catch her in an offbeat role as the town rebel in this teen-oriented small-town saga; unfortunately, the rest of the production doesn't quite match up."[2]

Roger Ebert gave the film 2 stars in his original review, and said that "Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael" contains one small treasure: a perceptive and particular performance by Winona Ryder in the role of a high school outcast", and that "her work is surrounded by a screenplay so flat-footed that much of our time is spent waiting impatiently for foregone conclusions."[3]


Thomas Newman composed the original score for the film, which was released on cassette and compact disc by Varèse Sarabande. Although Melissa Etheridge wrote and performed two original songs for the film - "Don't Look At Me" and "In Roxy's Eyes (I Will Never Be the Same)" - neither is included on the soundtrack album; while the former has never been released, the latter is included on her 1993 album Yes I Am as "I Will Never Be the Same".

  1. In the Closet (1:45)
  2. Little Black Bird (1:23)
  3. Hers Are Nicest (1:10)
  4. Refrigerator Shrine (2:36)
  5. Missing Bossetti Child (:56)
  6. Wake Up (1:26)
  7. Clyde (1:44)
  8. Her Limousine (1:57)
  9. Several Letters (1:12)
  10. Choke It (2:18)
  11. Arriving by Aeroplane (:56)
  12. Cleveland (1:12)
  13. Yours Are Nice (:41)
  14. Baby Soup (2:56)
  15. In a Beauty Parlor (:35)
  16. G. on a Bike (1:06)
  17. Her Majesty's Dress (1:22)
  18. This Was My Intention (2:29)
  19. In a Small Town (1:33)


  1. ^ Benson, Sheila (12 October 1990). "'Roxy' Goes From Wild to Warmth". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 September 1990.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "Variety Reviews - Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael - Film Reviews - - Review by Variety Staff". Reed Business Information. 1 January 1990. Retrieved on 27 July 2012 (OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY DATE).  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 12 October 1990. Retrieved on 27 July 2012 (OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY DATE).  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]