January 23, 2014 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Cleolinda and friends live-tweet Lifetime's adaptation of Flowers in the Attic.
posted by kmz (16 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
First I've heard there was new adaptation. Good Lord.
posted by Melismata at 12:59 PM on January 23, 2014

Sharkanado for tween girls. That's a good description.
posted by bonehead at 1:24 PM on January 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

This wonderful line from the link:

Corrine, the mother, is played by Heather Graham, magnificently, whether she realizes it or not.

reminded me of this wonderful winner from the AV Club's review of same:

As Corrine, Heather Graham is a canny bit of meta casting. Whether she’s an impossibly stiff simulacrum of a human woman, or a skilled actress cannily projecting the wide-eyed dullness of a mannequin, the effect of her arch nonchalance is the same...

I am really obsessed with this book and adaptations for someone who never read them. I guess it's just the whole 'finding out as an adult what many girls were reading around me in junior high and being pretty shocked' thing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:24 PM on January 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

I really think going to the sequel next instead of My Sweet Audrina is a mistake.
posted by jeather at 1:37 PM on January 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Having never read the book I was intrigued by her remark about the triple-Daddy-death-scene. Googling around landed me upon this snarkfest of a book review. Excerpt:
p17: JACKPOT. There was an accident on Greenfield Highway. And here's a fantastic example of the fantabulous dialogue -- this is where the cop tells Momma Dollanganger that her husband is dead:
"According to the accounts, which we've recorded, there was a motorist driving a blue Ford weaving in and out of the lefthand lane, apparently drunk, and he crashed head-on into your husband's car. But it seems your husband must have seen the accident coming, for he swerved to avoid a head-on collision, but a piece of machinery had fallen from another car, or truck, and this kept him from completing his correct defensive driving maneuver, which would have saved his life. But as it was, your husband's much heavier car turned over several times, and still he might have survived, but an oncoming truck, unable to stop, crashed into his car, and again the Cadillac spun over . . . and then . . . it caught on fire."
Hand to God. I didn't make that up. The cop is either a very poorly constructed robot or the most insensitive human being ever. I wish Drake Hogestyn would read this book to me. Go back and read that passage, but imagine it in his voice. It's AWESOME. Anyway, as my co-worker said after I did a dramatic reading of it, "NO ONE USES 'FOR' LIKE THAT IN CONVERSATION. EVER."

p18: Ha ha ha ha ha. Now the cop is saying that he was killed instantly. Instantly, like, right when the original collision happened, before the car flipped over and over and got whacked by a truck and caught on fire, or after? Because the cop said over and over again that the husband might have made it if not for the rest of the accident. So which is it, bub?

posted by maggieb at 1:42 PM on January 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

That's hilarious. I'm just going to start appending the phrase, "and then it caught on fire" anytime I have to deliver bad news:

"My laptop froze up...and then it caught on fire."

'The restaurant rejected my credit card...and then it caught on fire."

"The doctor told me my liver is swollen...and then it caught on fire."
posted by Rangeboy at 1:47 PM on January 23, 2014 [8 favorites]

Then it burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.
posted by jbickers at 2:03 PM on January 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

I found the Lifetime adaptation surprisingly...non-lurid.

And I couldn't tell if Heather Graham was genius or horrible casting. Every word was spoken as if she were a vapid, slightly confused blow-up doll, which was true enough to the story but OH THE LACK OF MOTIVATION OF ANY KIND. So confusing.

Not that she had much help from the material, which is just as weird and disjointed and insane upon a second (adult) read.

Also, no FITA thread is complete without a link to the absolutely unforgettable, strangely durable THE COMPLETE V.C. ANDREWS (warning—'90s flashback ahead).
posted by mynameisluka at 2:54 PM on January 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

"C&C Incest Factory."

I may never stop laughing.
posted by Zozo at 2:54 PM on January 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

It's about the book rather than the movie, but Julieanne Smolinski's 2011 "nostalgia check" is priceless:
At some point or another, all preadolescent girls hear about the book where the girl locked in the attic has sex with her brother. I went to the school library like a sweaty middle-aged dad guiltily cruising one of those Thai sex tourism sites. The book was hardly ever in, but one time I got lucky. (The check-out card in the back, I'm sure, was full of fake names. I think I signed it as Dr. Philip Q. Montague.) I remember being vaguely scandalized by the book and excruciatingly bored by the movie, which I'm pretty sure was shot from deep inside a bottle of sparkling shower gel. I wasn't expecting to enjoy reading it again, but I also wasn't expecting to experience the entirely new emotion that I did. The emotion is called blorfing, and it's where you are really bored but also kind of want to throw up enthusiastically. Like unsexy porn or when the people on Bones kiss.

But, getting down to sick-making brass incest tacks: Let's talk about the writing. Remember when your seventh grade English teacher made you write "in the style" of the Bronte sisters? And you were like, "Hmmmmmm! What if instead of being a nanny ... Jane Eyre is a person who tongue kisses her relatives?" Flowers is entirely free of contractions or informal speech and is virtually infested with exclamation points. The syntax is highly reminiscent of Internet fan fiction where Mulder has gay sex. V.C. Andrews was apparently heavily influenced by fellow modern gothic Shirley Jackson. I guess I can see reading "The Lottery" and going, "What if instead of stones … they were brother penises?" If it bothers you when teenagers who were purportedly alive when WKRP Cincinnati was on the air talk like arch Victorian dowagers, you are not going to like V.C.'s style.

People don't cry, they throw themselves onto beds and pound their silken pillows with their reddened fists. People don't have sex, they have "hot need"s driven into them. Blech! This is supposed to be a young girl's diary. What young girl doesn't journal about how "rounded and firm" puberty had rendered her "buttocks"? None of them! No, thank you, V(ery) C(razy) Andrews.

Admittedly, the Plato's Retreat concept is interesting. Both in a prurient way and a morbid, desert-island-sex one. Who hasn't been on one of those little tiny planes and started looking around to see whom you'd bone in a Lost-type situation. Besides, puberty is basically like being The Fly. The idea that given no other outlet, siblings might be forced to sexually fixate on one another is kind of compelling. Like a car crash, where one of the cars is having sex with its sister.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:59 PM on January 23, 2014 [11 favorites]

Y'know, I wasn't planning on watching this remake, but after reading that , I just may have to come up with a drinking game and force myself. So, thanks for nothing. (Or possibly thanks for my ensuing hangover.)

Also, golf clap for the post title. :)
posted by blurker at 3:03 PM on January 23, 2014

The best thing about the remake was watching Ellen Burstyn as the grandmother. I went back and forth about Heather Graham as the mother; at first I thought she was jaw-droppingly bad and a piece of mis-casting, then I figured she was playing the mom as the narcissist and her approach meant to reflected that. But in the end, just no: Heather Graham definitely stank up an otherwise enjoyable adaptation of a trashy novel.

And, hey, looks like there's a Lifetime Lizzy Borden adaptation coming up with Christina Ricci, whoo-hoo!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:45 PM on January 23, 2014

maggieb Thank you so much for that. Tears fell out of my eyes with the laughter!
posted by persephone's rant at 8:38 PM on January 23, 2014


Again, Gentleman of the World, please note that Flowers in the Attic was the 1st BOOK FEATURING SEX that many girls read. Let that sink in.

posted by ocschwar at 7:10 AM on January 24, 2014

zombieflanders: Thank you, "blorfing" has just jumped to my favorite word.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:23 AM on January 24, 2014

The Lizzie Borden adapttaion is AMAZING if anyone cares. Just the right balance of cheese, camp, fancy hats and BUCKETS OF BLOOD. I love it so.
posted by The Whelk at 2:48 PM on January 31, 2014

« Older Some stats behind the doom and gloom   |   My game with Magnus Carlsen Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments