In today’s climate with the Me Too and Time’s Up movements comes a real daisy of a story. Flower is fresh and unexpectedly bold entertainment. It opens by telling us how high school student Erica (Deutch) and her friends make extra spending money. Not wanting to give too much away, I’ll let you know that it’s by getting middle-aged men in precarious situations and extorting cash from them when the moment’s right. Picking the most vulnerable, the young women know the men won’t resist them nor will their demands for cash be denied. Erica, the prettiest of the girls and the most flirtatious, takes on the task of performing oral sex on older men but being very open sexually she doesn’t see it as a burden.
As you get to know Erica you’re shocked by her, but her personality isn’t off-putting in the least. She’s a product of a broken home who believes she’s loved by a father who’s in prison and who desperately wants the opposite of what her mother is currently looking for. Her mother, played by the extremely qualified Kathryn Hahn, smiles and pretends to enjoy being around someone who doesn’t bring her joy, so that’ she’s not alone and Erica desperately doesn’t want that for herself. She vows her life will not end up like her mothers but while looking for fault in others, Erica doesn’t see those within herself. Her mother’s fiancé, Bob (Heidecker), has a son named Luke (Morgan) who is emotionally unstable due to drugs and a troubled past. When Erica meets Luke, she’s underwhelmed at his looks but is taken aback by the fact that he isn’t overwhelmed by hers. Unable to accept that a man doesn’t see her as a sexual object, she meddles in his business until he opens up to her.
He tells her that he’s filled with anxieties, he’s an overeater and depressed because of something that happened in his past. Luke won’t say who it was but informs her that when he was younger, a teacher sexually abused him. She begins to feel for someone other than herself for the first time which is an awakening of sorts. She grows attached to her soon to be stepbrother and vows to help him set things straight. ‘Shaking down a child molester is our moral obligation.’ However, when she finds out who the teacher is and implements her plan of attack, everything beings to go wrong.
The end of the film is a bit of a letdown but overall, the movie is engaging and the actors do a fantastic job of keeping you sympathetic to their plight; supportive of the storyline.
Watch Flower at a theatre near you. It’s a good indie film with a surprising twist at the end.
If in Phoenix, enjoy this at HARKINS CAMELVIEW AT FASHION SQUARE today.