While Albert has become relatively successful writing tunes for Conrad Birdie, Rose has been after Albert to earn his master's degree and become an English teacher. Rose wants to have a stable future and considers Albert's dabbling in the music industry frivolous.
“Albert is a bright person but he can't make decisions,” Elder said of his character. “Clearly, he and Rose have discussed their future together but Albert doesn't have much of a backbone. Not only is he trying to get out of debt, he's a mama's boy who can't get her to cut the cord.”
Rose clearly understands that conflict but knows that a happy marriage can't survive the constant meddling of Albert's mother. After eight years together, Rose tells Albert she's ready to leave him unless he comes around to her point of view.
“Rose's parents obviously distilled in her that an education is how to get ahead in life,” Nejat said. “She believes that will provide security and stability for their future. If that doesn't happen, Rose is ready to wash her hands of the whole situation.”
Elder concedes that Rose knows what's best for Albert, even though his character undoubtedly feels like he's being backed into a corner at times.
“In most marriages, the wife knows what men want and need,” Elder said. “Rose is trying to lead Albert in the right direction so it's a good manipulation. Because I trust the book, I feel like I just have to shade my character — where he should be dim and where he gets brighter. I trust that it will all come out in the wash.”