Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight


Flowers in the Attic: You smell DELICIOUS.

 

If you are a Generation X’er like myself, I will bet you a bazillion dollars that you had a copy of VC Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic as a pre-teen girl, and that you acquired it in some kind of seedy 7th grade underground book market because your mother wouldn’t buy it for you. You fed on it late at night, presumably by the light of a full moon or a shanghaied flashlight, with your sheets pulled tightly over your head to create an impenetrable cotton fortress. You felt everything reading that book–exhilarated, disgusted, shocked, embarrassed, perhaps even a little bit dirty. You couldn’t sleep because you were too excited. You could never look at your brother the same way. It was so, so bad but so, so good. The book jacket classifies it as a “gothic melodrama” — a pretty conservative description for something geared toward teenagers that featured themes like child neglect, torture, murder and incest. Babysitter’s Club this was not.

 book cover

foreveryoungadult.com

Anyway, if loving Flowers in the Attic is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I’m thinking about starting a book club just so I can get some women of a certain age together to make paper flowers, eat powdered donuts and discuss how fucked up it is that this is considered YA fiction. During our meeting, we’ll screen the new remake of the movie, currently airing on Lifetime Television.

Yes, ladies. It’s happened. It’s here. There’s a remake of Flowers in the Attic on Lifetime. Get it while the gettin’s goooooood!!

And by good, I of course mean awful!!! So awful! I loved it so much, you don’t even understand. In an homage to the original experience, I captured it on TIVO and gobbled it up early in the morning in secret before my husband was awake. It was such a delectable way to start my Saturday.

The casting was brilliant. Ellen Burstyn played the evil grandmother and she scared the absolute shit out of me.

flavorwire.com

flavorwire.com

And check out who plays the mother, Corrine…

heather graham

{You said it sister– not me.}

So, let’s pause and discuss Heather Graham for a second. Greatest actor of our generation, right? This line from the movie tickled me because it’s the exact phrase in my thought bubble every time I see her act.  She looked beautiful in the movie, but her acting was handily outshone by all four of the people cast to play her children, two of whom were five years old.

If you’ve read the book or seen the original movie, you already know what happened to those sweet, innocent tow-headed kids. Nothing good. Being locked in an attic for two years will do terrible things to your psyche, your sexual proclivities and your skin tone. It will also make a great jumping off point for the sequel, so viewers can further titillate themselves by glimpsing into the future and seeing how the kids fared ten years after their escape, presumably after a decade of trauma counseling.

And we call this…Petals on the Wind.

God bless you Lifetime. You filled my Saturday with so much joy. And guys, don’t worry. I took breaks between these movies to go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. If the first film taught me anything it’s that blonde hair and gray skin do not mix.

This time, Vin was awake so I had to nibble on my guilty pleasure between eye rolls and audible whines of disapproval. He was looking twitchy, and I could tell he was fiending for some hockey highlights or basketball.

“If you change the channel, I will murder you,” I warned. This seemed pretty rational–even understated–at the time, especially when juxtaposed against the truly unsettling threats being tossed around on-screen. Plus, there was a suicide-by-donuts scene coming up, and I honestly thought he’d enjoy it.

lifetime.com petals

lifetime.com

I know I was! I wasn’t familiar with this story, and had forgotten that there had been several follow-up books in the continuing saga of this very dysfunctional family. And my goodness–this one was even more salacious, more tawdry, more disturbing and more campy than the first. So much maliciousness, so much ridiculously bad acting, so many uncomfortable love scenes. I know…ew. It was ridiculous and over-the-top and I was yelling at the screen the whole time. “Listen, I get it! He’s hot and he’s a doctor, but HE’S YOUR BROTHER!!!!”. At one point I cried out, “I need a girlfriend here on the couch with me!” because I wanted someone to share the fun with.

And I guess that’s why I wrote this post today. I’m certainly no film critic. But I really wanted to share this special experience with you, my invisible internet friends. I know you understand me, because you were there. In the ’80s, under the covers, in the shadows. If not in solid form, than in spirit. This post is for you. Please, set your Tivo’s and invite me over. It will be such a gas.

And to my mother, who tried in vain to shield me from these hallmarks of 80′s youth culture. Brava, lady. You were doing parenting right. I can see why you thought this material was inappropriate for children.

But for cultured, experienced, classy, educated adults? Mmm, mmm, mmm. Sweet as powdered sugar.

 

 

Jenn P.

30-something psychotherapist. Loves cooking, hosting parties, exploring new places. Texan by birth. New Yorker by choice. Likes to tell little stories. Pull up a chair; I'll tell you one.

  • http://nicolemarica.com/ Nicole Marica
    i convinced my mom to buy this book for me at a yard sale when I was 10…and then didn’t tell her the juiciness of the book until 15 years later. It’s been a while since I read the book, but I did convince her to grab the whole series for me again (before I told her of course!) a few years ago. I need to read these again and then watch the movie!