I received a screener for the indie film Flower awhile before it came out, at least a whole month. It seems like they were going hard on the advertisement campaign, at least from the critic level. I of course accepted to watch it, I love online screeners. All of the value of theaters, but in my chair at home.
But really in this introduction, I just want to talk about the plot description. “A sexually curious teen forms an unorthodox kinship with her mentally unstable stepbrother.”
Oh. Oh no. They are going to have sex aren’t they? That is the only thing I am getting out of this, and well, from the first frame of the first scene, I assumed there’d be some forms of pseudo incest in this movie.
Well, that is probably not the stepbrother.
Erica (Zoey Deutch) is a 17 year old girl, and she is obsessed with dicks. Like little kid Jonah Hill in Superbad obsessed, except she doesn’t have one of her own. She also loves blow jobs. Erica and her friends (Dylan Gelula, Maya Eshet) use these obsessions to their advantage, by giving blow jobs to older people, especially those with authority, in order to blackmail them for cash. This is a fun review so far.
Erica is doing it (besides for enjoyment) to raise money to bail her real dad out of jail. In the mean time, her mother (Kathryn Hahn) has found someone new to finally be with (Tim Heidecker). Someone who will put up with Erica’s antics (not in that way).
Well, he also comes with an older son, who is about to get out of rehab. That means Erica is going to gain a soon to be step brother (Joey Morgan), who took lame drugs, has anger issues, and is totally overweight. She still has agreed to be nice to him and to get him better into society. What she learns is that he also claims to have been sexually assaulted by a teacher a few years back.
Now Erica and Luke are going to get together, to get revenge, and maybe form a bond for their dysfunctional family.
Nope. Neither of these people are probably her stepbrother either.
Without a doubt, Flower took my worst fears as to what this movie might be about and ran with them. They were not worried about being a film that had morals or anything to stop them, they just wanted to tell a story no matter how fucked it was. Underage girls talking about and doing blow jobs, blackmail, blackmail, and blackmail. Love of a step sibling, or soon to be step sibling, which is technically not wrong just frowned upon. We´re looking at you Brady Bunch.
And that isn´t even all of the messed up events that occur, just the rest of them would constitute spoilers, and I am not going to do you like that.
Deutch carries this film as our wild lead, straddling the line between extremely in control young person and winging it girl who always manages to squeeze by. She cares not about her reputation, so her actions can become quite erratic and it is a fun film to see.
I was very surprised by Morgan as well, assuming I would hate him, solely based on his looks and backstory. But as a troubled individual, he carried his own weight and they both felt like individually unique star crossed characters.
Flowers is not a great movie. But it is especially out there and a bit weird, which is all I really want and need to appreciate sometimes.