Friday, January 24, 2014

Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic: Blooming or Withering?

I adored V.C. Andrews as a child. Absolutely could not get enough of her! I remember spending countless nights under the covers with a flashlight reading the book my mother swore I should never read: Flowers in the Attic. Of course, the more she protested, the more determind I was to get my hands on a copy. And once I did....well...

I think that's when I actually fell in love with the world of romance writing.

Not that Flowers in the Attic is the best example of writing! It is a bit clunky in spots and the dialogue at times is a little stiff, but let's face it! It's one of those novels that is so bad you just have to keep reading.  And reading. And reading.

I know I read all of the sequels and the prequel and then jumped right into the Heaven series.

When the first movie came out back in the late '80s, I was so excited. And then so disappointed. That sucker was awful. It left out all the good stuff, didn't even touch on the romance between Cathy and Christopher, much less show the big scene where stuff goes down between them. They changed the ending and the acting--ugh, I could go on and on about that.

Lifetime aired a remake of Flowers in the Attic this past weekend and I made sure to tune in. The previews hinted that this was going to be much closer to the original book. I loved the way the previews also tied in the artwork from the series, too. It made me giddy with anticipation! did the new movie fare in my opinion?

Meh...okay. It was closer to the book. They did leave in the romance, but there was no rape scene. The whole movie felt a bit rushed to me, but then again, they are trying to cram four years or so into a two hour show that includes commercials. I thought everyone looked the part, especially Heather Graham who played Corinne and Ellen Burstyn rocked the Grandmother outfit. Her wig was also a lot cooler than the really crappy one they stuck Cathy in later.

The acting was the problem for me in this version. I didn't feel a ton of chemistry between Cathy and Chris, which is pretty crucial to the story line. I also thought that Heather Graham was oddly stilted in her attempts to be the good mom at the beginning of the movie, but caught her stride as the selfish bitch towards the end. The Grandmother was certainly more sympathetic than she is in the book, but I wonder if that's because they are playing this with the prequel in mind where we learn about the Grandmother's own past. Those two kids that played the twins----poor darlings! They just didn't have much to do!

I know this probably sounds kind of crazy, but I also thought the grandeur of Foxworth Hall wasn't there either. In the book, it's this amazing place that inspires fear and awe. The one in this version looked  like a nice rental place. No fear and awe here.

So did this remake bloom or wither on the vine? It kind of blossomed and then slowly wilted. I watched the whole thing and will probably watch the rumored sequel. Hell, Petals in the Wind has never been made into a movie to my knowledge, and it's one juicy book.  I can't wait to see how they ruin it!


  1. You are so right! I watched both versions, and I was dissapointed. Comparing the two, I remember being more impacted by the first one though, especially during the scenes where they are eating the pastries and at the end when the children discover what their mother has been doing...I think it was during the wedding? It's been a while, but I really wanted this remake to wow me and it fell short.

  2. Esmae, I couldn't agree more. I had high hopes for this one! But Heather Graham, good Lord! Take an acting class woman! However, I'll probably watch the Petals on the Wind thing, too!