Lifetime Remakes "Flowers in the Attic," All My Dreams Come True

Categories: Books, Film and TV

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Flowers in the Attic on Lifetime
When I was 15, my best friend Kathleen handed me a book with a spooky looking house on the cover, titled, Flowers in the Attic. I took the book home and started it at bedtime that evening. Once opened, the book remained so until I turned the last page, at which point my brain exploded. Double incest! Incest BABIES! Homicidal moms and violent nanas!

I had just joined the legions of fans whose faces would light up at the mere mention of author V.C. Andrews and her iconic "Flowers" series. The 1978 film version of the book--starring Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, and Kristy Swanson--is a perennial favorite, but like many fans I always found its departures from the novel disturbing. (Yes, I just said that the omission of incest from the first movie is more disturbing than the presence of incest in the original source material. CALL THE COPS. I am obviously a danger to society.)

The Lifetime channel premiered its remake of Flowers in the Attic last month. The updated version stars Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham, and Kiernan Shipka as Cathy. AND I MISSED IT. The first time, anyway. I set my DVR remotely so I could watch as soon as I returned to Houston.

(Author's Note: "Flowers in the Attic" virgins can read a quick plot synopsis to get caught up.)

FITA was one of those books I read over and over as a kid. I've viewed the movie many times, and while the line, "EAT THE COOKIE!" is among my oft-cited movie references, I have always wished for a film that better represented the original novel. The 1987 movie omitted a major storyline--the incestuous relationship between brother Chris and sister/narrator/protagonist Cathy--that is central to the plot. The film also concocted an ending far removed from the one in the book; both of these departures remove Flowers from the context of the five-book "Dollanganger series." Should subsequent movies have been made based on the sequels, their plots would also have required substantial plot changes. Now, they never actually made any sequels, but still--readers can only take so many changes to their favorite books-turned-movies, right?

I'm not sure how it is possible that I've seen Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? every single time it's ever aired on Lifetime, but I missed the month-long Flowers in the Attic promotions, but it happened. So when I finally sat down, weeks after the remake aired, I was nervous. I had managed to avoid all media coverage of this movie, including articles with tempting titles like, "5 Things to Know Before Tonight's Flowers in the Attic Premier!" and I was desperate to love it.

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5 comments
fullmarriageequality
fullmarriageequality

Incest, both consensual and non-consensual, has always been a theme. See: The Bible, Greek mythology. Why should our stories today be any different?

lauriesotelo
lauriesotelo

They left out the importance of ballet to Cathy. Hard to go too far into thr sequels without that.

Trisha Olson
Trisha Olson

Liked the song they used to advertise it.. but other than that, as usual it was a let down compared to the books. It was a nice attempt, but there is so much more information that adds to the story that you can't get in 2 hours with commercials in between. Seeing the previews did get me to buy the entire series though.. Im three books in.. it's sooo much more disturbing than you would ever get from the movie! hah

Sam Samson
Sam Samson

Didn't the brother and sister wind up having kids together?

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