The amorous artist : Interview with 'Anything But Love' creator

    sabel Rose is what you might call an over-achiever. An actress for most of her life, she quit the business at 25 to mastermind the process of screenwriting. Ten years later, she¹s back with a vengeance and a film ready to blow the socks off of anyone that thinks that the movie musical is dead.

    Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films
    Triple threat: Isabel Rose is the multi-talented force behind the impressive indie musical “”Anything But Love.””

    Guardian: So you¹re a lot like your persevering character Billie Golden in the film. You two share anything other than the work ethic?

    Isabel Rose: Everyone always wants to know if it¹s autobiographical, and if I¹m Billie Golden, but I¹m not Billie Golden. I¹m actually not from Corona, Queens; I¹m not a cabaret singer. But the similarities between Billie and I are optimism and a dreamy nature. I really do hear music and see the world differently. I think everyone does, like you know when people are walking down the street with their Walkmans on?

    G: They create their own soundtrack for the world.

    IR: Right. I totally fall into that category, and I wanted to create a character who lived that way. But you have to understand, I was raised on those movies. Every Friday night of my life from six years old to 16, I saw an MGM movie musical in my living room. My dad would get these prints, we would change reels, and during the reel changes we would act our favorite songs. When you look back on it, it was so hokey and wholesome, but I¹m incredibly grateful for it.

    G: So “”Anything but Love”” is an homage to those old films?

    IR: It¹s an homage in certain respects, I can tell you that. Someone said to me: “”This film is never going to make it, it¹s so cliché.”” I said we worked very hard to create that. I mean, there are two moments that are so cliché and so hokey that people sometimes burst into spontaneous applause when they see them, and don¹t even know why. One moment is when my character comes out of the Times Square subway station dressed as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany¹s, and the other moment is when, dressed as Holly Golightly, she and Greg Ellenbogen kiss outside the fountain at the Plaza, and the camera pans up into the fountain and away. People giggle. And why do you giggle? Because it¹s just so corny! It¹s ridiculous, it¹s just like those old movies.

    G: So, how did this actually get made and picked up? An independent musical sounds like an extremely hard sell.

    IR: Such a hard sell. Literally everybody, including someone I spoke to yesterday on the phone, thinks I¹m crazy. The entire world is a “”Warning, turn back”” sign. I feel like I¹m this Viking, running through the street with a spear, and on the end of my spear is my video. It¹s good to have a purpose in life, especially with this film, when the purpose is so joyful. There¹s so much darkness in theater right now.

    G: Everybody¹s got the angst-ridden bit, or the trilogy where nothing will ever work right until the third film.

    IR: (Laughs) Well, certainly in the indie world. I was rejected from 17 film festivals. I look at all the indie films out there and there¹s so many I don¹t even know which ones to go to. But the least I can say about my film is that you will definitely be uplifted. There¹s just no way around that. And that¹s not a bad reason to go see a film.

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