Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2013 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dawn Hunt // March 2nd, 2013
Let Love Bloom.
Competitive sisters Terri (Kristy Swanson, The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Mandy (Alberta Mayne, Concrete Canyons) grew up and grew apart. Terri is an executive on the fast track living 2000 miles away from her family, while Mandy is head of a local co-op and within 20 minutes of their parents. But both sisters are engrossed in their own lives until tragedy strikes and forces them to return to their roots.
There they bicker over how best to help their mom's (Nicola Cavendish, Sabrina the Animated Series) struggling florist business regain its footing. Mandy feels overshadowed by the return of the prodigal Terri, who in turn is dealing with her own issues, namely her recent job loss. Most of The Bouquet deals with the relationship between Terri and Mandy, how healing it also leads them to reconcile the other parts of their lives.
Both sisters have tunnel vision for most of the movie, to the point where their new love interests, Terri's Sam (Michael Shanks, Stargate SG-1) and Mandy's Noah (Jeremy Guilbaut, The L.A. Complex), are relegated to tertiary plot lines. But that won't affect your enjoyment of The Bouquet, as the message is to put family first and all else will fall into place.
All the actors turn in believable and engaging performances and feel grounded in this world. Look for a special appearance by Danny Glover (Predator 2) as the local preacher. The Bouquet is a surface movie; there are rarely scenes where the emotional depths of any given circumstance are plumbed for their true worth. However, to do so would transform this from the family-friendly fare it is and risk alienating an entire generation of viewers. As it is, the religious overtones (they aren't heavy but they are felt) may be a deterrent to some.
Though The Bouquet is a lower-budgeted movie, it's easy to see where the money went, and it's into the video. When you have a movie whose focus is flowers, it's a no-brainer to make sure they look good. And they do, with the kind of palette which enhances their naturally occurring beauty instead of oversaturating them or somehow displaying artifice instead of realism. The audio is an impressive Dolby Digital 5.1, far and above what The Bouquet needs to be sure. You won't have any technical complaints from this offering.
The lone special feature is a brief behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Bouquet.
It's easy to recommend The Bouquet for those looking for a flick the whole family can watch together. It can serve as a conversation starter for the realities of death, the differences between siblings, and the meaning of family, to name but a few.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated