Bed of Roses (1996) – Review

2 Stars

Today a film like Bed of Roses would be considered a Lifetime channel movie, but twenty years ago the network was a fledging station that had yet to earn that undistinguished nomenclature. Here is a story that could only take place inside a movie, had this been reality the lead female character would have surely called the cop on the loon sending her flowers every hour on the hour. However, since this was a valentine’s day timed release and stars Christian Slater, it is an innocuous mix of sweet and fluff.

Lisa (Mary Stuart Masterson) is an emotionally distant high-powered executive, who learns of the passing of a figure from her childhood in the opening moments. She is too busy at work to fall in love, her career is her life. That changes when she receives a stunning bouquet of flowers from a secret admirer. The stranger who sent them is an odd fellow named, Lewis (Christian Slater)

His character quirk of walking the streets of New York late at night and looking in windows isn’t charming, it is downright creepy. One night, on one such walk Lewis happens to gaze up and see Lisa crying in her loft apartment window. So, he follows her to work and delivers a spectacular floral arrangement. However, Lewis doesn’t tell her he owns the flower shop. Instead, he lets her think that’s he a lowly delivery boy. Why does he do this? Because you see, Lewis is distraught over the death of his wife and by giving people flowers he gets to see joy on their faces. Uh huh.

Bed of Roses feels like a film school thesis project that has been protracted to feature-length. There is one scene that works, a flashback sequence in which a young Lisa is told by her abusive stepfather that she has no birthday. A few more scenes exploring the troubled psychology of Slater’s character would have been helpful in explaining his obvious mental instability. Had this been a character study perhaps the central relationship would have felt authentic. As is, this is a well-meaning, inoffensive little drama that occasionally touches the heart but never stimulates the mind.

Director: Michael Goldenberg
Stars: Christian Slater, Mary Stuart Masterson, Pamela Adlon, Josh Brolin

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