Day Of The Flowers

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Day of the flowers empty plane seatPink skies set over the stunning Cuban backdrop in John Robert’s latest breezy Scots on tour rom-com, Day of the Flowers. When the passing of her father brings nostalgic, socialist Rosa (Eva Birthistle) back into direct contact with her forgotten ditzy sister, Aillie (Charity Wakefield), the two embark on a journey to scatter his ashes on his Cuban homeland.

Before Rosa is even through the airport though, she is berating Aillie and kilt wearing tag-a-long, Conway (Bryan Dick), about the lineage she and her sister share, noting that she was most likely conceived in Cuba. Following several hours in customs due to Aillie’s enthusiasm for electrical products, the sisters are accosted by smooth talking local, Ernesto (Christopher Simpson), and upon his recommendation, the gang jump in a taxi that leads them on a misadventure to Havana.

Stranded in the tattered worn out streets, the group ‘buddies up’ with fellow pasty British travellers whose tour guide is the mysterious, dead eyed, Tomas (Carlos Acosta). There’s an immediate spark between Rosa and Tomas, which lingers woefully throughout the movie. What follows is several trivial battles between the sisters as they attempt to consistently one up each other. Despite extreme circumstance that set the two apart, they constantly become embroiled over their soap opera romances, as Rosa shies from Tomas in favour of the desperate Ernesto.

Whilst the setting is picturesque for the majority of the movie, Roberts’ aims to shoot the pretty side of the city, but never shies away from the typical tourists view of the country: rum, cigars, and flashy salsa moves. Day of the Flowers begins with a genuinely intriguing central story, but the father’s ashes plot really takes to the sidelines in order for the drama of the bickering sisters to take centre stage. It’s a real shame that Robert’s spends so much time on this and only rarely shows Cuba’s vibrant surroundings. When fleeting scenes of brief terror occur, the film’s pace does pick up, before quickly being squashed by obnoxious character decisions.

This is a perfect Sunday movie to stick on and lazily view the locations Rosa and Aillie stumble upon. I have nothing offensive to say about it, but no high praisings either. The performances are good, given the material (always a pleasure to see Eva Birthistle on screen), and it does its job perfectly as a frothy comedy, and I suppose it’s always nice to see the sun set in Havana

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Whilst swinging from trees of the independent filmmaking world is only a part time pursuit - now it’s other jungles this Gorilla pursues. Oliver began writing film reviews for his universities newspaper before graduating in Film & TV Production.

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