‘Flower’ Movie Review

I first heard about Max Winkler’s ‘Flower’ almost a year ago when the link to Hollywood Reporter’s review had popped up on my Facebook feed. I read the review, filed it away for a future watch, and forgot about it. In December, the trailer was released. The default image for it featured Zoey Deutch and Dylan Gelula tongues out, in what looked like them about to kiss.

Now let’s get this straight, this default image is obviously is for click bait, and does not tell the film’s tone as a whole. ‘Flower’ is a remarkable dark comedy about a snappy teen who sets out to expose a local child molester. With the help of her two friends and her about to be half-brother, their plan starts out fair enough, only to unravel with each passing choice they make. Their plan may have obvious flaws, but after all, they’re just teens and they’re doing their best.

Erica, the film’s protagonist, is played by the magnetic Zoey Deutch who’s opening scene is so grab worthy, so funny, it’s easy to see why they include it in the film’s trailer. She gives a cop a blowjob, and immediately afterward her friends Kala (Dylan Gelula) and Claudine (Maya Eshet) immerge, iPhones in hand capturing the moment, so its easier for them to extort the cop for all the cash he has.

 

Now it’s later revealed this is not Erica’s first time at the rodeo. While her friends spend their share at the mall, she’s saving up to pay her dad’s bail to get him out of jail. Erica’s mother Laurie, played by the warm and hilarious Kathryn Hahn, dates a boring, but overall good guy Erica nickname’s “The Sherm.” You can see while Laurie seems to be more of a friend to her daughter, she’s really trying with “The Sherm,” maybe the first nice guy she’s dating in a while. When “The Sherm”‘s teenage son, Luke (Joey Morgan) comes to stay with them and reveals his dark secret of being molested by a teacher (Adam Scott) that’s when their seemingly easy plan to expose his heinous ways is set in motion, and inevitably spirals out of control.

‘Flower’ is a great coming of age film that mixes wit and heart. While on the surface it seems Erica can easily be pegged as an unlikable female protagonist, she goes beyond expectations, revealing layer by layer why she’s put up carefully constructed walls to prevent any man from getting close to her. Sure, she knows she has “daddy issues” but her issues run deeper than that, and that’s what makes her such a full and worthwhile teen and female character we haven’t seen on our screens in a long while.

What I like most about ‘Flower’ has got to be the underlying message of “what you see, is not what you get.” Erica might be a precocious 16-year-old with a notebook of hand-drawn dicks, and a pet rat named ‘Titty,” but she’s more than a teen trying to get your attention. She’s a complicated character, who may seem tough, but like the film’s title ‘Flower’ suggests is fragile just like any other person out there.

Don’t go to ‘Flower’ expecting your average teen sexy shenanigans film. It’s more than that. Its better than that, and you’re just going to have to go see it in theaters to witness it.

‘Flower’ comes out nationwide March 23.

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