Petals on the Wind.

SOMEHOW I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THIS. Until a week or so ago, that is, when Kat sent me a text of the movie poster on some bus stop. Why didn’t they show a promo for this at the end of Flowers in the Attic? That’s so weird, Lifetime. Get it together.

I didn’t read this book at all but my friend Stephanie informs me that I’m in for a lot more effed up stuff and I can only believe it based on the batshit bananas first installment in the series.

Petals on the Wind!

It starts with a recap of Flowers in the Attic which you can read about if you click there. The essential thing to remember is that this is the worst family ever.

My friend Chadd was so excited when he saw that this was airing tonight but then he realized that the first one desensitized him to incest and horribleness so this one didn’t phase him as much. We can never go back to the innocence we lost to Flowers in the Attic.

This one starts with a parental advisory- did the last one?? My dvr cut off the first few minutes of that one so I never knew. They’re at some funeral in 1970 and it says “10 years after the attic” on the screen.

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The older daughter, her brother and their younger sister are at the funeral but they’re all being played by actors who are 10 years older than the ones in the last movie essentially. Cathy is no longer played by Mad Men girl, she is now the girl from the Lovely Bones. Christopher is now some guy from Pretty Little Liars (the internet tells me) and the little sister Carrie (why all the C names?) is a girl from Bunheads now.

Cathy is making a speech about being stranded at a bus station with nothing and some wise old black lady nods. It turns out that a guy took them in and adopted them and now he’s dead. So, even when these kids do catch a break, something totally tragic happens to them.

At the wake the wise old lady hugs Cathy and tells her she’ll always be there for her.

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Young Carrie is having a rough time since this guy essentially raised her. And the last time someone died they were on the run with nothing and you know, those years being locked in an attic and everything.

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Anyway, turns out this dude left them his house so they have a house now. If we know anything about Cathy it’s that she’s more than capable of raising a kid and getting it all done so this seems pretty good… however, this won’t fill 1:57 more minutes and so I assume it won’t be this easy.

Heather Graham creepily puts on makeup and takes a lude or something. I assume she’s seducing a new man but I honestly can’t remember what the last one looked like so who knows.

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^^^ note the mirrors.^^^

Some boring looking dude who kisses her and she looks totally bored by it all. Cathy calls her and she hangs up.

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^^^ still more mirrors ^^^

Cathy tells her brother that since their adopted father died she has been thinking about how their mom never loved them. Christopher tells her to try to forget her.

In ballet class the teacher’s son strolls in and Cathy is all “oh yeahhhhh”ing him with her eyes.

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He does some moves to show off since he’s in a real ballet company in New York and Cathy is sold.

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Now Cathy dances and we don’t see much but their reactions tell us she’s supposed to be great. Isn’t she like 25? 26? For a ballerina isn’t that like 100? They’re acting like she could really make it or something. Flashy dance man tells her to dance for herself and not to please his mother.

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Meanwhile, young Carrie is at school and it’s time to learn about our changing bodies. Some girls in her class made her a finger trap game thingy but when she does it it says “HELLO FREAK” and she gets sad. They laugh.

Christopher is in medical school, not too shabby. His teacher’s daughter drops by just to flirt with him in front of everyone. VERY SMOOTH, GIRL.

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Ellen Burstyn is on her death bed (and they’re pulling no punches with her makeup and hair) and she’s saying things like “she poisoned her children!” and Heather Graham is all “you’ve had a stroke, you’re hallucinating” so the nurse won’t believe her.

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While she’s essentially dying Heather Graham is mocking her and stealing her food. “You’re going to go to Hell!” and she’s all “yeah, duh, I know.” Then she takes off.

Cathy is out on a date with the dancer and he’s giving her moonshine. He’s so bad! Dancer asks her who she is on the inside since she’s little miss perfect on the outside. She starts to leave.

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He says that she’s dying to cut loose but too chicken and holy crap, this guy is such an asshole. I bet he thinks he’s so great with the ladies. She’s about to cry instead. I do like that she has a romantic prospect that isn’t her brother though. He thinks his company in NYC would hire her right now based on what he saw today. Okay. Whatever you say, Dance Man. He kisses her at her door.

Ew, Christopher is all “where were you??” and then tells her that she doesn’t have to give herself to the first guy who looks her way. She says she should have called but she’s not a child anymore.

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“I’m trying to move on and start a life apart from you.” Yeah, you should both do that. Don’t worry though, he goes on about how he can’t stop thinking about what it was like to touch her in that attic. I gag forever. They make out instead.

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Oh wait, full on sex. That’s what’s happening. And this scene is LONG. They really want you to really soak up this incest and I think we’re supposed to be happy they’re together again. He asks if she’s sure and boy is she!

They’re all in post sex bliss when she says that she needs to move so that he can find a wife and have his own family. Oh, we find out that she miscarried their incest baby in the past at some point which they consider God punishing them. I guess they’re not too worried about God’s punishment though, because you know, they’re doing it again.

Don’t worry, everyone, Carrie was outside the door listening to this whole thing and watching them argue in their underwear and kissing. No biggie!

In case you forgot this movie is set in the 70s:
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Cathy says goodbye and leaves with this Dancer she went on one date with who is all “ready to go, sweetheart?” I guess it’s smart that she moves to NYC to dance, right? I mean, this all seems very legit.

Now we’re in NYC and Cathy and her Dance man are pretty close I guess. They’re in a dance class but neither of them are dressed or dancing in it so I’m not sure why they’re here. Oh, she just arrived. She hasn’t been anywhere yet. He drove her straight to the studio I guess.

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They get to his apartment and it’s a huge raw space that we’re supposed to think is a shithole but would be like 4k a month now.

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It’s huge! And in Manhattan! He starts kissing her and she’s all “heyyyyy” and he walks her towards the mattress he has on the floor. Girl, brace yourself, this is what sex is like when the dude is not your brother and you’re not being held hostage. She looks terrified. Cathy is truly heartbreaking.

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He’s all “I need to hear you tell me you’re mine!” as he approaches her crotch. Slow your roll, Dance Man. She tells him whatever he wants.

Boss man’s daughter continues to hit on Christopher but he’s dark and moody… which only makes her want him more! He decides to be a regular dude and to try dating someone who isn’t his sister. He asks her out for Valentine’s Day and she’s thrilled.

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Carrie finds out about a cotillion at school and all the southern belles are talking about the lace and pearls their mamas will be dressing them in while poor Carrie sits there, motherless and without even a big-sister-mom-type-person to talk to. The girls make fun of her and she gets riled up and they all get in trouble.

Oh god, Carrie asks Christopher if she’s pretty and he’s all “of course.”

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Then Carrie is all “the same way you think Cathy’s pretty?” andddd EWWW forever. He says he loves both his sisters equally and oh god, these scenes are all so squirmy.

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Cathy’s doing the ballet thing and I’m like “how does she pay bills? Where is she living?” Meanwhile, her Dance Man drops her in the middle of the dance they’re doing. She hobbles off while she dances beautifully with someone else. I think that my friend Kim did something amazing and the universe is repaying her by putting all these ballet scenes in the movie. I just feel like she really lucked out here. No one loves to mock ballet in movies as much as her.

Dance Man gets home and tells her that he dropped her on purpose because she was flirting with someone else. Who?? Everyone else there was the old man teacher or women… Then he becomes enraged and throws things and tells her that she’s nothing and that she owes everything she has to him and then grabs her and kisses her while she looks terrified.

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RUN CATHY! He asks why she can’t love him when everyone else wants him.

Christopher tells his date that Carrie needs someone to help her with this Cotillion and she’s super excited to help out. So far she seems normal… let’s see what happens with her three scenes from now.

Cathy doesn’t get the part of Juliet because of the whole being dropped thing and the other lady gets it. She trots off with Dance Man while he flirts with her obviously, in front of everyone. He gets home and she’s all “did you take Yolanda out for some moonshine?” He tells her the last thing is crap from her and starts being abusive again. She says she’s going to go back home for her brother’s graduation and he’s all “what the deal with your brother?” She says they have no one else and he gives no shits and just starts beating her and threatening to murder her. Wait for him to fall asleep and run, girl. RUN. Get the eff out.

In the next scene she’s at her brother’s graduation so I assume she took my advice.

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She meets Christopher’s girlfriend and looks like someone punched her in the stomach because apparently no one told her he had such a thing. The girlfriend is all “your life is every little girl’s dream!” There are a lot of these lines where people are assuming things about them that aren’t true and it’s painful. It’s pretty clever.

Christopher notices that Cathy has a black eye and she claims that she walked into a wall.

WHAT!! In the next scene she’s back in the Dance Man’s apartment. So she left and came back to this monster? Whaaaaaaa? No.

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He’s all “for what it’s worth, I’m sorry, I’m a bastard when I drink.” Then he cries and tells her he loves her. He begs her for forgiveness and in the next scene…

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We see him smash up some glass and put it in Yolanda’s ballet shoes to make it up to her. Cathy, you’re evil! And you found a dude who is a monster who is totally okay with that because he’s the worst. Yolanda screams in pain in the background.

Heather Graham is trying to gut her family’s house and renovate the whole thing while her dude is all “does that mean your mom has agreed to a nursing home?” and she is all “whatever, I can work around her.” He tells her he doesn’t want her taking on too much and she’s all “I’m better now!” while looking at him with crazy eyes.

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Carrie is at school and someone has stolen her doll. She is upset because it’s the only thing she has that came from her mom. Some girl tells her that she heard they hid it in the 3rd floor storage closet. She finds it hanging from a noose. The mean girls show up and ask her to do them a favor and put her head in that noose and then lock her in the storage room. I can’t even imagine someone this age actually enduring this kind of trauma over and over. Good lord.

Romeo and Juliet rehearse their beautiful ballet of dullness together. ZzzzZZZZzzzzz.

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He does a bunch of flashy moves around the stage in some kind of leotard held up with suspenders. She mainly is picked up and carried around.

Cathy gets off stage and Carrie is there- surprise! She wants to stay with them and finish school in NYC.

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Cathy asks Dance Man and he’s all “if it makes Cathy happy, it’s fine with me.” No one thinks this is strange? Does Christopher even know that she’s gone?

Heather Graham is talking to an architect about changing the house completely. He asks about the attic and SHE FREAKS OUT. Crazy eyes all over the place. She wants it to disappear! But no one is to go in there! Do as I say! I have a crazy idea, why not buy a new house and abandon this evil one?

Christopher’s lady is trying to make plans (no mention of Carrie, mind you) and he’s all “oh I’ll be in NY, Cathy’s ballet is opening” but I guess he didn’t mention it to her or invite her. She looks sad.

We get some big wide shots so the stunt doubles can be free to dance openly.

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Cathy is looking at Christopher off stage like he’s her Romeo… forbidden love, are you getting this? Is it clear enough for you??

Christopher pops backstage and no big deal, Dance Man is groping Carrie up under her skirt. Oh god. Every scene brings new horrors.

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Christopher loses his mind and Cathy comes in all “you’re here!” Christopher punches Dance Man and they quarrel and then Dance Man runs out. Cathy runs out and jumps in his car and it’s the most ridiculous green screen driving scene. An homage to Hitchcock films or something?

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He says that now he knows why she can’t love him- it’s her brother. Ummm, talk to me first about how you’re groping the teenaged sister. Don’t change the subject, buddy. She says that she wanted their son to know his father (WHAT?) and he’s all shocked so he takes his eyes off the road and a semi hits them. That’s how you end a scene, folks.

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10 Months Later in South Carolina Cathy is teaching ballet to little girls. Cathy sees someone and she thinks it’s her mom and runs to her but it’s not and she says she’s been seeing things since the accident. The lady is all “it must be hard after losing your boyfriend, I heard you almost died too…” and now we’re all caught up. Oh wait, there is a baby in a stroller that she is telling people it belongs to Dance Man. HAHAHAHAHAHHA When she danced that ballet we’re supposed to believe she was like 3 months pregnant?!? Oh please. So I guess the bomb she dropped was that she was pregnant and far enough along that she knew it was a boy? Yeah, okay. And then also that it’s her brother’s? I don’t know, probably.

Oh good, in the next scene a priest flirts with Carrie. Her life just keeps getting better.

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Christopher’s girlfriend is babysitting and is all “he has Carrie’s eyes!” and Christopher all “more like Corey’s” but then he realizes that he never told her that Carrie had a twin that died. Whoopsie. She says she’s glad he told her and he can tell her more things.

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Carrie is hanging out with the priest out of his priest clothes. He says he can tell that she’s good. Is he not a priest? I ask because he just proposed to her.

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I don’t understand religious things- so sorry, everyone. Maybe some kind of reverend?

Carrie tells Cathy and Cathy is all “he’s so nice, you should marry him” but she’s afraid that she’s not good enough for him. She admits that not only did she have a thing with Dance Man but that she liked it. Cathy tells her she is good and they’re not the sins of their parents. Carrie is pretty messed up. Get this girl a lifetime of therapy, stat.

Heather Graham is at some tea or something and Carrie just strolls up to her all “it’s me, Mama, I’m getting married and I was hoping that you could come.”

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Heather Graham is all “you must be mistaken, I don’t have a daughter.” She just strolls off like it’s nothing. (This was the one scene that tugged at Chadd’s heartstrings)

The wise old lady tells Cathy that Carrie woke up early and did some baking.

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Next to the baking is a thing of rat poison. In the garbage is a bunch of letters she wrote to their mom that were sent back. Oh god.

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Cathy and Christopher run upstairs and it appears that Carrie killed herself with poisoned donuts and then died holding the doll her mom gave her. END SCENE.

Cathy is freaking out about how everyone she loves dies. Cathy says their mom killed their brother and now she’s killed their sister almost as clearly. She read the letters and they’re heartbreaking. Cathy wants to hurt her as badly as she has hurt them. Christopher tells her that if she goes through with this that she’s on her own- she informs him that he’s involved whether he likes it or not.

Next scene, Cathy is at her mom’s husband’s office in a short dress flirting up a storm. He’s some kind of lawyer so she has a fake reason for being there- being about their family trust.

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He’s all “sounds like you’ve been through your own fair share of tragedy.” Cathy is good, y’all. I really hate her mom so I’m rooting for her here despite this also being pretty gross.

The girlfriend’s dad talks to Christopher about how they’ve been dating for over a year and he’d love to welcome him into their family but if he doesn’t intend to marry her he needs to let her go.

Cathy is at home and the girlfriend pops by. As it turns out Cathy is in Virginia now and the girlfriend wants her and Christopher to make up about whatever it is they fought about. She wants her to be a part of their wedding and Cathy is all “whaaa?” She asks Cathy to be her maid of honor and she says yes.

I’m not sure how but Cathy has her mom’s husband in her apartment drinking wine with him. He says that his wife really keeps things lively, never a dull moment. He confides that he’d like to give up the fancy life and just have a normal life sometimes. The grass is always greener. Cut to a fairly graphic moment of them doing it in what appears to be a closet.

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Heather Graham is complaining about the painter being blind while husband is all “I have to go to work!” She’s all “it’s Sunday” which means he’s saying he has to rush over to bang her daughter.

Oh man, this guy is so bad at affairs that he left his briefcase AND his wedding band at home right next to his wife.

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After the dirty sex she tells him that she wishes she could be invited to his Christmas party and pouts. He says that he loves his wife but he’s falling in head over heels for her.

She vomits into a toilet… I assume she’s pregnant? This reminds me, where the hell is her son? We haven’t seen him in like 10 scenes.

Girlfriend’s dad surprises them with a week in Bermuda for their honeymoon. Their wedding is tomorrow.

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Oh, look, Cathy is here and she has her baby so I guess he is still alive.

Christopher is sitting in a room alone mulling over some scotch and probably thinking about his fucked up life. Cathy pops in in her nightgown. Ew, Christopher kisses her and is all “my girlfriend is great but she’s not you.” They cry together. Then kiss again.

We hear his girlfriend come in, then announce herself, then run in and just now they break apart and are all SCANDALIZED.

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Jesus Christ, you dummies. The girlfriend is horrified.

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Their wise black maid hugs them and says that she doesn’t care what folks are saying, God will forgive you. He’s going to have to move to be a doctor but he says he’s finished. They have to move to California to get far enough away and he says they can live like husband and wife but she’s all “I don’t want to live a lie.”

Cathy is still running the whole scam with the mom’s husband and Christopher is all “he won’t leave her, she has all that money.” She informs him that some people do things for reasons other than money but man, that’s not how these kids were raised. She lets him know that she’s pregnant and she has to finish what she started. He says he’s coming with her. And yes, he should because everyone in town knows about his incest now so best to leave. And also, Cathy is the most fertile lady in all the land. Every time she has sex she has a baby.

Cathy walks into her mom’s house and just walks around while she hears her grandma’s voice in her head telling her she’s stupid and evil. Who let her in? How is no one here? She digs through a closet.

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Grandma cries out for someone and Cathy looks scared. Cathy goes into her room and grandma is all “I know who you are, what took you so long?” Cathy tells her off for starving them and beating them and grandma is all “try 60 years in this house! I’m the prisoner here!”

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Grandma also says that she knows she spread her legs for her brother in that attic. How does she know? Grandma- “you can leave Foxworth hall but you can never escape your family.” HARSH

Will grandma not mention that Cathy visited? Also Cathy tells Christopher that their mom walled off the attic like it never existed- they’re displeased.

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^^^ more mirror work ^^^

Heather Graham tells her mom that tomorrow she’ll be checking into a nursing home and she’ll take her rightful spot as head of this home and her mom is all “you can’t make me.” I guess we’ll see.

Husband is shaving and Heather Graham gets her crazy eyes on him and grabs him by the hair and tells him that she knows he’s been seeing someone else but that that’s over now, she doesn’t want to hear anything about it but that starting tonight their sins are washed away and they’re starting fresh and then she walks off.

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^^^ wow, MORE mirror shots! ^^^

What do men see in this lady? Is she even interesting? Is crazy this attractive?

So mirrors are clearly a theme in this movie but I don’t get what they mean… children are reflections of their parents? Something like that? Or is it deeper?

This party is a real shindig!

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Oh wait, then Cathy comes down the stairs all “I was here 12 years ago, but I was locked in the attic! My mom poisoned us and trapped them.” Oooh, I love this.

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Heather Graham is all “mom, why won’t you tell them this is wrong?” and grandma is all supportive of Cathy while the guests gasp and grandma laps it up. She even says she put the kids in the attic to kill them (big gasp here). And actually, she did kill their brother.

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Heather Graham is very caught and her husband is more shocked that she had four children that she lied about but she says she had to in order to get her dad’s money. Would anyone buy that as a valid reason to abandon and kill your children?

Then Cathy says that she’s pregnant with her mom’s husband baby. Heather Graham looks like she might have actual feelings here. MERRY CHRISTMAS, MOTHER.

This movie really knows how to end a scene.

Husband is all “you’re just as crazy as that witch of a mother of yours!” He kicks everyone out of this room and she’s all “you have to get rid of the baby, she’s the devil’s spawn (referring to Cathy)!!” He says he wants a moment alone with Cathy.

Cathy apologizes for using him but says that she had reasons that he couldn’t possibly understand. He isn’t feeling great about it. She says that she does care about him. I know this is messed up but her relationship with her mom’s husband may be the only positive sexual relationship that she’s ever had with a man- scary thought.

Heather Graham pops in on grandma all “you told me that I had to put them in the attic!” and I’m a bit like “if you were any kind of mother no one could talk you into that.” You are the worst, Heather Graham.

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Grandma says she had the workmen go up to the attic and bring down some of their precious souvenirs. Heather Graham cries here about her poor children and I don’t buy this for a second.

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Christopher pops in there and is all “mom?” and no big deal, Heather Graham tells him they can run away and start a family and then tries to kiss him on the lips and he’s HORRIFIED. Grandma laughs. Oh man, in the trunk full of stuff from the attic, Corey’s remains are in there. Christopher can’t even deal with that. Heather Graham lights the house on fire.

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Husband runs upstairs to save people and Cathy is all “what have I done?” Christopher runs downstairs and they leave the house. Honestly, they should have burned it down themselves when they left all those years ago.

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Cut to the future and Cathy and Christopher are living as husband and wife while a bunch of kids run around and play and some mom is all “you guys are so perfect!”

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Heather Graham is in a nuthouse. I hoped she had died in the fire, dang. I guess she just killed her mom instead and maybe her husband.

Does this mean in four more months we’ll get the next one?

Much like last time, I had nightmares after watching this movie. Not surprised in the least.

2 thoughts on “Petals on the Wind.

  1. I’ve been trying to figure out why this one didn’t grab me as much as the first one (because, reading through this recap, it’s obvious that a comparable amount of crazy-ass nonsense happened), and I think it just comes down to the absence of the attic itself. It’d be like if they made Shawshank Redemption 2, and it took place in a bunch of apartments and a scrapbooking class.

  2. Dylan Bruce plays the husband of Heather Graham! Dylan Bruce is in Orphan Black… I love him.
    I didn’t know that Lifetime released this movie, I’ll have to set my DVR. I read the plot summaries of these books on Wikipedia after Flowers in the Attic aired. I never read the follow-up books either and basically it’s eff’ed up.
    Amazon also lists V.C. Andrews as number 24 on their 100 best selling authors list. Apparently people love to read about crazy child abuse and incest.

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