The July 26, 2016 Monarch Home Entertainment DVD release of the (most likely PG-13) drama "Grantham & Rose" is notable for being the equivalent of the adult-oriented film "Showgirls" starring former "Saved By the Bell" star Elizabeth Berkley. The portrayal by Austin of (often shirtless) blue-haired semi-hardened 17 year-old delinquent clearly is his effort to show that he no longer is little brother Max Russo of the Disney Channel kidcom "The Wizards of Waverly Place."
The following trailer nicely shows the dynamic between our main characters in the context of a fairly comprehensive synopsis of the film.
The crimes of young offender Grantham in response to his hard-knock life has landed him in a St. Louis juvenile detention facility where he is far from a model prisoner. He soon comes to the attention of volunteer social worker Rose, whom '70scom veteran Marla Gibbs of "The Jeffersons" plays with unexpected but effective restraint.
The dedicated but highly eccentric Rose determines that the best way to get through to Grantham is to coerce him into accompanying her on a road trip to Atlanta, which is a former home of both of them.
Grantham soon becoming a literal partner-in-crime with "older woman" 20-something Wallis results in her joining this reverse "Driving Miss Daisy" duo on their road trip that they hope will be bountiful. Wallis having as much emotional baggage as her travelling companions helps her fit in.
Highlights of the trip include this group consisting of an elderly black woman, an emo teen boy trying to act gangsta, and a free-spirit 20-something woman requesting a motel room with one bed, Rose slowly revealing her interesting life experiences, and the typical arguments associated with having an elderly and a teen driver vying for control of the car.
Austin does a decent job as Grantham. We believe him as a troubled kid with a fairly smart mouth and unrealized potential but do not get caught up in his rare moments of youthful exuberance or deeply connect with him, Gibbs does better in playing Rose as a strong-willed woman who has reached an age where she feels entitled to say and do as she pleases.
The fact that all this plays out like a Hallmark Channel movie is not a bad thing. It holds your interest, has good movements and provides a look at the current careers of Austin and Gibbs.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Grantham" is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.