23 July 2014 | wes-connors
Young, Restless and Related
In the January "Lifetime" TV Movie "Flowers in the Attic" (2014), three blonde siblings finally escaped from their attic prison in a Virginia mansion. They had been held there by fanatical grandmother Ellen Burstyn (as Olivia), who considered them "the Devil's spawn." The kid's self-absorbed mother Heather Graham (as Corrine) lent her blessings to the abduction. For this "Petals on the Wind" sequel story, the older actresses reprise their roles. However, the "Dollanganger" children have grown into Rose McIver (as Cathy), Wyatt Nash (as Christopher) and Bailey Buntain (as Carrie). Luck changed for the kids as they were quickly adopted by a wealthy man; they spent ten happy years in his custody. As you may recall, incest ran rampant in the Dollanganger family. Being trapped together while coming of age, the eldest two siblings became sexually intimate...
We're not sure what happened during the missing ten years, but the goal was clearly for the children to lead a normal, non-incestuous life. This leads to a major weakness in the story. After "falling in love" during the first movie, "Cathy" and "Chris" live together for ten years. What happened then doesn't seem to match the ensuing story, which involves the very attractive sister and brother fighting off their sexual attraction. They simply pick up at the maturity level from a decade earlier, as if no living had occurred in ten years. After we see Ms. McIver and Mr. Nash try to settle down with other partners, the story moves on to cover McIver's attempt to get even with her mother – for the sinful neglect and imprisonment committed in the first movie. These are the two main story lines in this second in a series of adaptations of Virginia C. Andrews' popular novels...
Out of the Attic, the characters move too quickly from one situation to the next. We know little about the ten year gap and are crammed with current events. While the original performers are missed, McIver and Nash are well-cast. Likewise attractive, young Miss Buntain is referred to as a "freak" by school-girls for looking weird and carrying a doll. In fact, she looks like a beautiful "girl woman" under model-worthy make-up and wigs. We don't see much of Ms. Burstyn and Ms. Graham is two dimensional. Those who appreciate the male physique will be delighted with Nash and two additional shirt-shedding hunks – amorous Dylan Bruce (as Bart Winslow) and aggressive Will Kemp (as Julian Marquet). Director Karen Moncrieff and her crew handle it all in the "soap opera" style. Perhaps "Lifetime" should return to "Peyton Place" – or somewhere close.
***** Petals on the Wind (5/26/14) Karen Moncrieff ~ Rose McIver, Wyatt Nash, Heather Graham, Dylan Bruce