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Guilty Bunch of Flowers [Wayne Kelly, UK, 2019]

Guilty Bunch of Flowers is a razor-tongued comedy that kick-starts its plot with a rose bouquet switching hands between people who find themselves inextricably linked. Flawed but funny, these characters are selfish, desperate, mean-spirited, yet gut-bustingly hilarious. Lovers, husband, sister, and mother all claw at each other to get what they want, with some faring better than others. The result is a wicked and edgy romp that tickles your funny bone right until the bitter end.

The plot takes us through the complicated lives of this wonderfully weird family, their relationships, their desires, their gripes and grievances, and most importantly, their anger and resentment for each other. Barring one lesbian couple, most of the relationships are fractured and fraught with tension. The script, written by Keith Large and Maria Smith is sharp, witty, and filled with deliciously curmudgeonly dialogue. This gives the actors ample material to work with, belting out one scene-stealing scene after another.

Noteworthy performances include the grumpy and constantly sniping mother, Enid, played by Ingrid Evans, hilariously over-the-top, hypochondriac daughter, Alison, played by Eleanor Burke, and her down-on-luck bumbling husband Tommy played by Kenny Davies. All of them, when put together in the blender, bring madcap energy to the film that is reminiscent of the misadventures of the Bluth family from Arrested Development [USA, 2003-2019], and the awkwardness of Ricky Gervais’s monumental mockumentary The Office [UK, 2001-2003]. The editing is clever and sharp, bringing a brisk, well-paced momentum to proceedings and the music score is fittingly jaunty and mischievous. With a fun script and good performances, this is a flowery bunch you would regret on passing.


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