4 out of 10
Release date: 29th November 2013
Director: John Roberts (Paulie / War of the Buttons)
Cast: Eva Birthistle, Charity Wakefield, Carlos Acosta, Bryan Dick, Christopher Simpson and Phyllis Logan
Writer: Eirene Houston
Trailer: DAY OF THE FLOWERS
Here comes an unexpected rom-com / chick flick splattered across a travelogue / left-wing fantasy. I think Day of the Flowers began as a serious look into a families past and a hunt for old ghosts on the other side of the world. Somebody read one of the drafts and had a really shit idea to turn it into a spritely and cute comedy. This may have worked if the makers had thought to make either of their female leads remotely likeable or convincing but they didn’t – they did the opposite. Actually, I have met women this ‘fucking’ infuriating in the past so I take back saying the leads were unconvincing, maybe it’s just that I can spot idiots like these miles off so I avoid them in real life – and that it’s been a while.
Two sisters, Rosa (EVE BIRTHISTLE – AE FOND KISS) and Ailie (CHARITY WAKEFIELD – SERENA) steal their father’s ashes from their evil step-mother (PHYLLIS LOGAN – SOFT TOP HARD SHOULDER) and run off to Cuba to scatter them where her Mother is buried on the Day of the Flowers. For no reason other than to bulk out the cast, Rosa has invited fellow street socialist Conway (BRYAN DICK – BLEAK HOUSE) (who wore a kilt everywhere – which nobody seemed to pass comment on) and they go on a road trip – which included following some pretty obvious clues. In the melee, the father’s ashes get confiscated, they draw some unsavoury attention for a local hustler Ernesto (CHRISTOPHER SIMPSON – MISCHIEF NIGHT) and a caring and fluffy local Tomas (CARLOS ACOSTA – NEW YORK I LOVE YOU). Will Rosa be hoodwinked by the evil Ernesto only to be saved from herself by Tomas? Of course. Is Conway’s only purpose to provide an insipid love interest for Ailee, of course. Are there well sign-posted revelations about parental heritage to be discovered and wept over? Well, yes. Is this predictability enjoyable, hell no.
The only things I can recommend you see Day of the Flowers for are Cuba itself, and the music. So mostly Day of the Flowers delivers for those that want to visit one day, and for those that want to return one day. The acting isn’t bad. Wakefield (who isn’t Scottish) doesn’t quite nail her accent and comes across as shrill and annoying. Everybody else is accomplished enough but its not enough to give this trudge in a hot country anything to write home about. It’s hard to see who would enjoy this movie, as it’s too strange to be a TV time but too safe and niche to attract a cinema audience. It may be after the ‘grey’ pound – shooting to be a light counterpart to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – but it’s too lightly sketched and shallow.
4 out of 10 – Reasonably well acted – sadly it’s too boring and annoying to recommend. A potentially interesting and deep story about discovering who you really are and who your parents were is abandoned in the search for ‘cute’ laughs and the road more travelled. For Cuban nostalgics alone, and even then….
Check out Matt Floppy Flowers Usher’s review below
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Eva Birthistle: Wake Wood, Waking The Dead (TV), The Children, Imagine Me & You, Breakfast On Pluto, Borstal Boy, Ae Fond Kiss
- Charity Wakefield: Scar Tissue, Serena
- Carlos Acosta: New York I Love You
- Bryan Dick: The Numbers Station, I Anna, Bleak House (TV)
- Christopher Simpson: Sixteen, It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, Brick Lane, Mischief Night
- Phyllis Logan: Downton Abbey (TV), Nativity, Shooting Fish, Secrets and Lies, Soft Top Hard Shoulder, Freddie as FR07, The Doctor and The Devils