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Lifetime's VC Andrews Movies Topic (Flowers In The Attic, The Dollangangers, The Casteels, etc)

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I don't necessarily think that it's a bad career move. I'm guessing she won't be in the sequel though, her IMDB list says she's playing "young Cathy" which makes me think that there's maybe even two actresses playing the role in Flowers in the Attic though none is listed... Petals on the Wind takes place like 10 years later (though I guess there may be flashbacks) and it's INSANE. I still can't get over the fact that I was reading these when I was like 10. Really inappropriate! This is going to be better/worse than Sharknado in terms of cheese and craziness. 

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I don't necessarily think that it's a bad career move. I'm guessing she won't be in the sequel though, her IMDB list says she's playing "young Cathy" which makes me think that there's maybe even two actresses playing the role in Flowers in the Attic though none is listed... Petals on the Wind takes place like 10 years later (though I guess there may be flashbacks) and it's INSANE. I still can't get over the fact that I was reading these when I was like 10. Really inappropriate! This is going to be better/worse than Sharknado in terms of cheese and craziness.

I was 10-ish too. So inappropriate but also so educational! it's where I learned that purple and orange clash and that you should never eat the donuts.

I am also so excited to hear what Tara thinks., but I'd love to listen as Dave watches it. I'm willing to bet he's never read the books.

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I was 10-ish too. So inappropriate but also so educational! it's where I learned that purple and orange clash and that you should never eat the donuts.

I am also so excited to hear what Tara thinks., but I'd love to listen as Dave watches it. I'm willing to bet he's never read the books.

You are SO right! Hearing someone who hasn't read the books watch this train wreck would be amazing. They should also cover it on the How Did This Get Made podcast.

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Shoot! I forgot this was on! I am going to have to catch it on a rerun of which I'm sure there will be plenty!

ETA: Yup, one starts in an hour and a half. Yay! DVR set!

Edited by Lisin

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I got around to seeing this, and coming in with no knowledge of the original or the book...

This is all kinds of fucked up, but not in any interesting way - it didn't feel like the people behind this had anything really interesting to say and the story was fairly predictable. Pretty mediocre overall. 

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Yeah, it's an awful/batshit insane story which we definitely should not have been allowed to read as 10 year old children. Also this rendition was nowhere near campy and hilariously bad as I was hoping it would be. Just kind of boring. So disappointing.

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News about more VC Andrews movies:

Lifetime is currently in development on three additional V.C. Andrews’ books, including "If There Be Thorns" and "Seeds of Yesterday," both from the Dollananger series, and the stand-alone novel "My Sweet Audrina."

Petals on the Wind will premiere Memorial Day weekend (Monday, May 26)!

Returning cast members:

Corrine - Heather Graham

Olivia - Ellen Burstyn

Bart - Dylan Bruce (Orphan Black)

New cast members:

Cathy - Rose McIver (Once Upon a Time, Masters of Sex)

Chris - Wyatt Nash (Pretty Little Liars)

Carrie - Bailey Buntain (Bunheads)

Julian - Will Kemp (Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake)

Other characters/actors listed on IMDB:

Dr. Reeves (I'm assuming this is Paul Sheffield from the book) - Nick Searcy (Justified)

Sarah Reeves (Paul's wife in flashbacks? Or his mean sister Amanda?) - Whitney Hoy (Friday Night Lights)

George Korov (Julian's father) - Ravil Isyanov

Yolanda (Cathy's roommate) - Stephanie Kim

Miss Calhoun - Molly Hagan (who I will always remember from Herman's Head but is probably better known as Sister Roberta on Seinfeld)

Alex Conroy (Carrie's boyfriend) - Ross Phillips

Henny - Ellia English

Ed (??) - Jesse Einstein

I'm so excited that the actor playing Julian was a professional dancer! That gives me hope that they will have some good dance scenes! Rose McIver's Wikipedia page says she studied ballet when she was younger so I'm guessing she will probably have a dance double. I don't see her going all Natalie Portman and taking ballet lessons for six months to prepare for this role.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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More Petals on the Wind pictures (including one of Carrie!)

 

Rose McIver did an interview last month about iZombie, Once Upon a Time, and Petals on the Wind:

 

 

Your casting for Cathy in Lifetime's “Petals on the Wind” seemed to have come together very quickly.
Yes. I found out about it probably a couple weeks before we started shooting. There's a lot of ballet preparation for the character, so we started in the deep end. But, after working with Karen Moncrieff, who's a fabulous director, I was able to get everything I needed to done before I started shooting and I was comfortable and confident when we started rolling.

 

Were you a fan of the books?
I actually haven't read them. I may be the only person that hasn't read them. As soon as I mentioned to people that I was doing that project, a lot of fans came out of the woodwork.

 

“Petals on the Wind” takes place 10 years after “Flowers in the Attic.” What can you tell us about your version of Cathy?
I'm really grateful that Kiernan Shipka did such a fantastic job bringing her to life in the first film. It definitely made it easier for me to step into a character that she had already performed in a three-dimensional version of a character from a novel. I guess my version has been through more than the original character, but she still has that very dense history and a complex relationship with her family. So, I was able to draw on those and combine that with a woman who's trying to make her own way in the world apart from her background.

 

The movie's producer described it as a revenge story. What was it like to play a character with such deep seeded anger?
You have to certainly empathize with where a character has been and where she's going. I can understand that with what she's been through, she seeks this deep seeded vengeance. It's very understandable that these people have wronged her and what she wants to do, but it's the perfect example of revenge really hurts you just as much as it hurts the other people. So, I can't help but feel so sad and protective of this character as she makes these decisions, which aren't necessarily beneficial to her future.

 

Bonus! Picture of Rose McIver:

BZoG1Sv.jpg

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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Nice, I like the scene at the end of the trailer where she is dancing and you can see Chris in the background with flowers.

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I'm looking forward to Petals on the Wind on Monday. I recently re-read the book, and I know I'll be disappointed in the movie, particularly because, like with Flowers in the Attic, they are going to try to shoehorn the whole saga into a 2-hour movie. But I'll be here to discuss!

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Me too! I'm sure my initial reaction will be annoyance with all the things they changed or left out but I am still going to watch the crap out of this movie! One more day!

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Sooo.....that was not what I expected at all, actually didn't really feel like Petals on the Wind, HOWEVER I have to say that I really enjoyed it, that being said I felt as if it was more of an interpretation of the Book vs the actual story from the book.

Corrine/Cathyreally looked as if they could be mother and daughter and I thought Heather Graham did a much better job here than she did in FITA, she wasn't as terrible. I didn't mind them skipping over Paul/Kathy because I wasn't a fan of that relationship in the books. I liked that they gave Chris a girlfriend, as in the books I felt as if he was always pining for Cathy who was off falling in love with Paul/Chris/Bart. Chris having his own relationship gave him some agency. What I didn't like was the fact that Chris went ahead and proposed and then his super perky fiancee finds him kissing his sister. I would have preferred that after that conversation with his girlfriends father, that would have broken up with her instead of going ahead with the relationship.

The actor who played Julian was a lot more attractive on screen than on the promo pictures, however I didn't like the variation on that relationship. I wish they kept him jumping on Kathy's toes and then committing suicide. Also wished they had left Bart choosing not to leave Corrine even after finding out Cathy was pregnant with his child.

Carrie had a minor story but that pretty much stuck to the book storyline which I appreciated and the actress who played Carrie did an excellent job.

I do feel that Cathy could have been more angry after Carrie committed suicide, I expected more rage since in the book Cathy was nursing her anger and resentment since she left the attic. Her mother was always at the back of her mind, whereas here I felt as if that wasn't the case. I also noted that they didn't really have Cathy truly fighting her feelings for Chris as she did constantly in the book. Also it's been a while since I read the book but didn't Cathy actually fall in love with Julian and Bart, didn't she want to be with Bart and have a life with him until he told her he wouldn't leave Corrine? Here it seemed as if she jumped to Julian to get away from Chris and Bart was pure revenge.

Edited by bluvelvet
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I enjoyed the movie. Yes it was different than Petals (the book) but it was enjoyable. Rose looks younger in this movie than she did on Once Upon a Time, probably different makeup/styling.

I always thought that Cathy and Chris deciding to move away and be a couple was probably the most emotionally healthy thing for them (after Cathy couldn't have any more children), they were never going to be able to get over what happened in the attic, the loss of Carrie and Cory, etc. when poor Carrie killed herself my heart just broke. Just broke. I am looking forward to the other movies.

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I agree Scarlett45. As much as incest is wrong, their feelings developed due to spending 4 years locked up together during a time when they were both emotionally vulnerable. Chris couldn't love another woman as he wouldn't open himself up after what his mother did. He only trusted Cathy. Cathy was on a destructive path and no matter how many men she married/fell in love with she would always have feelings for Chris. Since the attic I always thought Cathy had a darkness about her and if she didn't have Chris in her life it would have consumed her.

Actually the only time I felt the darkness had disappeared was in Seeds of Yesterday, when she was in her 50's. Actually the end of that book broke my heart. Cathy essentially dying of a broken heart after Chris got killed. Had my pre-teen self in tears.

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I can't believe Kiernan Shipka actually is an award winning actress. I thought she was terrible in FITA and was so glad she was replaced in POW. Since it has been more than 20 years since I read the books, I go back to the Wikipedia pages for the plot summary. I agree that I'm glad they pulled out the Paul story. I didn't really like that story line.

 

I didn't remember the Carrie/Julian thing from the books at all. I didn't like that aspect, but I guess it helped Carrie's downward spiral. 

 

Are they going to do all 5?  

Edited by joanne3482

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I think the Julian/Carrie thing did happen but Chris and Cathy didn't actually witness it. I seem to remember Carrie confessing it to Cathy.

Actually the only time I felt the darkness had disappeared was in Seeds of Yesterday, when she was in her 50's. Actually the end of that book broke my heart. Cathy essentially dying of a broken heart after Chris got killed. Had my pre-teen self in tears.

Oh God, I SOBBED at the end of that, like ugly-cried. It was the only part of Seeds that was any good (the quality of the series drops off dramatically with ITBT and SoY--Bart Jr. is alternately creepy and annoying (I guess I should say "annoyin'" like he did). I didn't care for Darrin and Dierdre (aka Carrie and Cory 2.0) and Cindy got on my nerves. However! I looooooved Garden of Shadows--what a twist!

I liked this adaptation better than FITA, although even that was vastly superior to the original feature movie. But Kiernan Shipka was just miscast. She's great as Sally Draper but Cathy is supposed to be classically, conventionally pretty, like fairy-tale princess pretty. Kiernan's cute but she doesn't look (or sound, with that gruff voice) like Cathy. Her pretty looks are meant to be ironic, since she's the only one of the four who sees through their mom and calls her out. The older Cathy looks how the character should look.

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I'm glad they pulled out the Paul story. I didn't really like that story line.

While I wasn't crazy about Cathy and Paul dating, it was a pretty important part of Cathy's development. Don't get me wrong - he was a 40 year old man creeping on a teenage girl, but he was the only guy besides Chris who really loved her and treated her well. Julian and Bart were both dicks to her. And part of the reason she married Julian so suddenly in the books was because she felt betrayed by Paul.

I didn't remember the Carrie/Julian thing from the books at all. I didn't like that aspect, but I guess it helped Carrie's downward spiral.

It was only mentioned very briefly in the book by Carrie after Alex told her he wanted to become a minister. She was depressed and crying to Cathy about how she wasn't good enough to be a minister's wife. She mentioned Alex's morals (he was a prude who said the way Cathy danced with Julian was dirty) and that she had sinned with Julian. He told her that what they were doing wasn't "real sex" and that he loved her. She said she tried not to let her face show any pleasure in case God was watching. Cathy was mad but only because she had specifically made Julian promise not to screw around with Carrie.

Are they going to do all 5?

Lifetime announced a few months ago that they were doing If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and My Sweet Audrina. No word yet on Garden of Shadows. Honestly, I don't think ITBT and SOY will do as well in the ratings (only because they're not as dramatic in a movie way as Petals on the Wind). I'd rather they do GOS. It's much better material for a movie adaptation and they can totally recast everyone. I think Rose McIver could play Cathy at 37 in ITBT but Mason Dye doesn't look like he could convincingly play 39. I really hope they recast Corrine. Heather Graham can't pull off 60 and she's a terrible actress.
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Lifetime's promo for the adaptations of If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday (they aired a very brief "2015" one during the end credits for Petals) explicitly used the phrase "final chapter" for Seeds...getting the gist of things from you guys and elsewhere online, that at least makes sense.  Cathy and Chris's stories end there, after all.  Garden of Shadows, being a prequel (and even more bonkers than Petals, AIUI) isn't vital to the TVM-style narrative Lifetime's aimed for with the two movies we've got so far, though it's not a given that they'd avoid it; the only place they can do it now, though, is after they're done with the next two films...and possibly after the adaptation of My Sweet Audrina.  (Why did they pick that one, I wonder...?)

 

As for Petals...I missed a huge chunk of it, but from what I saw it seemed to be incredibly rushed.  Obviously they were going to gloss over various things, but they were so clunky about it...or was it just me?

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Mason Dye doesn't look like he could convincingly play 39

 

He didn't play Christopher as a young adult either; Wyatt Nash played the role in Petals.

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I wanted to like this adaptation.  I knew it couldn't be true to the book because the book was a hot mess that in no way could be covered in two hours.  But this just disappointed me.  I can't pinpoint why, because I did like Rose McIver and I liked that Carrie's story was one of the ones that was covered.  Also I thought Heather Graham sort of rocked this time around.  But it still felt off.

 

I think it might be because of the treatment of the Chris and Cathy relationship.  In the book they were not making out or making it every time they were in a room alone together.  That treatment sort of . . . cheapened the relationship . . . which I know is a weird thing to say about an incestuous relationship.  But when I read the book I felt really bad for Cathy, being saddled with the weight of her mother's betrayal, the experiences from the attic, and her obsessed brother refusing to move on while it seemed like she was trying her very best to do so.  In the movie, I just felt sort of intrigued/horrified by the events unfolding onscreen and that is not the same payoff.  I mean, they had them having sex what, 10 minutes in?  That is so not how the whole thing unfolded.

 

I agree that Cathy fell in love with Paul, Julian and ultimately with Bart, and none of that was shown.  I guess they gave Chris a girlfriend so that he wouldn't seem so creepy/obsessed with his sister, but that is how he was, and he sort of wore her down with the weight of their messed up shared experiences and her understanding that he could never trust another woman again.  In the movie, it just seemed creepy how they couldn't move on from each other.  I mean, it was a full TEN years later, they both had other relationships - you can't forget that one incident in the attic and move on?  The great love Chris had for Cathy (and she claimed to have for him) just didn't make the same emotional sense as it did in the book.

 

And it sort of pisses me off because I promised my husband he'd understand more after seeing Petals, that it really wasn't as disgusting and twisted as it seemed, and now he probably thinks I'm a perv who likes to read about siblings who like to get it on, LOL.

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I wish they had split this into a three night miniseries and really cranked the camp up to 11.  While this did kind of have all the ick factor you would want in a VC Andrews adaptation, they cut out a ton and rushed through everything else.

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He didn't play Christopher as a young adult either; Wyatt Nash played the role in Petals.

D'oh! I got those blonde cyborgs mixed up!

My Sweet Audrina. (Why did they pick that one, I wonder...?)

Because it's bonkers! And great material for a cheesy gothic creepy melodramatic soap opera type movie adaptation! I actually love that it's a stand alone book that doesn't follow the ghostwriter's paint by numbers plot we got stuck with after Andrews' death. There are definitely some similar elements that showed up in later series (the really messed up family with secrets, the skanky scheming sister - although Vera came before Fanny, the creepy father figure, the sweet boyfriend who betrays her, etc. The more I think about it, the more that I see the archetypes for Heaven, Dawn, and the later series originated in My Sweet Audrina) but to me this book was more of a mindfuck than any of the others. I'm much more excited to see that made into a movie than ITBT or SOY, which both seem to me a but static and not the best material for movie adaptations.

he sort of wore her down with the weight of their messed up shared experiences and her understanding that he could never trust another woman again.

ITA and I feel like Julian did the same. He wore her down over two years and then happened to be there when Amanda told her that Julia was still alive. Once she relented, he was similar to Chris in that he made it clear how much he needed her, both personally and professionally, and how messed up he was because of his parents.

Paul didn't pressure her the way Chris and Julian did but she felt just as obligated to him as she did to them. The added bonus with Paul was that she felt like she was in control, setting Chris free. She knew Chris would be upset about her relationship with Paul. In the book, she imagines him being disgusted with her and then being forced to turn to someone else. After she sleeps with Paul, she cried and in her mind tells Chris that she has freed him.

Bart is the only one she pursued without already feeling obligated to him, but that's because she was committed to making her mother miserable. That's a different kind of obligation and commitment altogether! I wish she had found one guy to like where neither of them had any agenda or ulterior motive.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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The movie's producer described it as a revenge story. What was it like to play a character with such deep seeded anger?

From above - WHAT publication was this question/quote from? Deep seeded???

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Speaking of grammar, it drives me crazy when people who get paid to write insist on using incorrect grammar. "He made my brother and sister and I feel safe." REALLY, writers? Does anyone have to learn correct pronoun usage anymore?

 

One of the weakest things about this movie overall were the complete lack of transitions. Julian says Cathy can't go to Chris's graduation & then she's there. Carrie gets locked in a closet & then she's in New York. Julian gets t-boned & then Cathy is teaching ballet class. Carrie magically knows which charity event Corrine will attend. Sarah catches Cathy & Chris making out & then they're back at Paul's housel

 

The ballet stuff was ridiculous, like unbelievably stupid. First of all, Cathy's toes would not be bleeding from the leather/canvas shoes she was wearing in the first dance scene. The bleeding blisters come from pointe shoes which she wasn't shown wearing in that scene. Secondly, what kind of ballet dancer en pointe doesn't know about lambswool? They have all kinds of high tech crap now to put in pointe shoes to help prevent blisters (including gel pads) but lambswool is the old standby. Even if Madame Marisha didn't specifically tell Cathy about lambswool or taping her toes, Cathy would have seen other dancers doing it as they put their shoes on before class.

 

Carrie was 8 when they left the attic so I really doubt that she would have been having sex ed & they "hey you get your period when you hit puberty" film when she was 18. I got that in fifth grade. Of course, this is the same 18 year old girl who is wearing braids & carrying a giant doll around school so maybe the sex ed movie was age appropriate for her.

 

Chris is so dead-eyed & monotone that anything he says is super creepy, but when you add his actual creepy movie personality where he's jealous that his 26 year old sister had the audacity to go on a date, he's extra super creepy. "I can't stop thinking about what happened in the attic" was a lot more believable when they had this conversation right after they moved in with Paul. But ten years later? They never talked about it or made out in the entire decade since they got to Paul's house but as soon as Paul's gone, they're boning? The only positive thing I can say is that at least this time Chris asked if Cathy was sure she wanted to. I guess he learned one thing after he raped her in the attic.

 

I agree that having Cathy & Chris make out so much in the movie kind of cheapens it. One of the main themes of the book is Cathy being so conflicted about loving Chris. Every time she starts to give in, she pushes him away because she knows that she is the one who has to say no. She wants both of them to find other people to love so they can love without feeling ashamed. But in the movie, she's like yup, let's bone!

 

It was one thing for Carrie to notice the way Cathy & Chris looked at each other (and she did mention in the book that she & Cory noticed and they knew Cathy & Chris thought they didn't), but for her to be eavesdropping during/after Cathy & Chris had sex was really icky.

 

Julian suspecting between Cathy & Chris based on them hugging goodbye just made him seem even more of a jealous jerk (as did his immediate "You are mine" the minute they walked into his apartment). Sarah trying to hide her jealousy about Chris going to see Cathy's debut in Romeo & Juliet was also ridiculous. If my sisters didn't show up for something like that, I would be upset! It's normal for family members to be supportive, especially when they're orphans & have no other family.

 

Cathy only brought one small suitcase that couldn't have fit more than three oufits total. Even though she thought Julian's place was a mess, it was still HUGE for a ballet dancer living by himself in New York.

 

I really want to interpret Carrie asking Chris if she's pretty as a combination of Carrie being insecure about her size/not being as pretty as her mom & sister and feeling left out without Cory around. I don't want to interpret it as her asking, "Why do you only want to have sex with Cathy but not me?"

 

Cathy is stupid, so so so so stupid. She spent all this time training to become a ballet dancer but once she gets into a company, she thinks she's too good to be in the corps? You're lucky they took a 26 year old dancer in the corps! And if you want to leave an abusive boyfriend, you don't wait until he comes home so that you must have a confrontation first. You leave while he's still at rehearsal! And you don't come back, gawd!

 

I see they really wanted to play up the power dynamic between her & Julian here. In the book, they were both at the same level. Give me a break - even the second best company in New York still makes you audition. I wish they had shown more of when they were dating before she moved to New York so that the audience could see how he charmed her & convinced her to go to New York with him. The way they did it here makes little sense. One mason jar of illegal moonshine & she's ready to move in with him?

 

I know this is Lifetime so they had to make Cathy the typical abused woman who hides the abuse from her family but in the book she is honest with Chris about it (even while blaming herself), telling him that he has hit her before but he always says he's sorry afterward.

 

Julian is the worst criminal ever. He seriously just broke a bottle & then dumped the glass into Yolanda's shoe, like she wouldn't notice those gigantic shards. At least in the olden days, people went to the trouble of actually grinding glass to use on their enemies. Haha and we're supposed to believe that either Cathy told Julian to do this or he interpreted her complete silence as "DESTROY YOLANDA."

 

Carrie being locked in the storage closet was actually way less traumatic than what happened in the book. I'm sure that being locked in a small closet sucks but at least they didn't blindfold her and tie her hands behind her back in the middle of the night & put her on the roof.

 

I'm trying to understand how/why Foxworth Hall fell into such a state of disrepair that Corrine HAD to gut it & remodel. I don't like how they tried to make Olivia more sympathetic (telling the nurse Corrine poisoned the kids) and Corrine the only evil one. The grandmother was a stone cold bitch to both Corrine & the kids but now she's remorseful? Bitch, please.

 

I laughed my ass off when Julian & then Cathy just left IN THE MIDDLE OF A PERFORMANCE. Way to be professional, people. Why was Carrie in Cathy's dressing room instead of watching her sister's big ballet debut? None of this makes sense! Nor does Chris standing in the wings. They really frown upon that.

 

What kind of ballet class ends with barre work? Cathy is teaching one ass backwards ballet class.

 

I know I'm going to hell for this, but when Chris saw Carrie lying on her bed and all he did was cry, I laughed at the thought that here we have a doctor who doesn't even check her pulse or try CPR or anything.

 

I really disliked how they tried to make Bart into this nice guy who just happened to be cheating on his wife with Cathy. He was a dick in the book who raped Cathy on their first "date."

 

Cathy is such a procrastinator in this movie. She waits until the last minute to leave for her Chris's graduation. She shows up the night before Chris's wedding. Girl, learn how to plan ahead!

 

Foxworth Hall didn't look like "one of the most impressive homes in Virginia." Maybe I built it into something more grandiose in my mind, but it just looked like a southern house, not anything particularly large or fancy.

 

I hated Olivia's pity party. Wah, you lived in a fancy house with servants and were a total bitch to your daughter & grandkids. Let me wipe away your tears with some piles of money.

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Every time she starts to give in, she pushes him away because she knows that she is the one who has to say no.

And he calls her on it! Not in an entitled way but he says "I'm not made of stone, don't do this to me." Whenever people say that Flowers was the Twilight of its time I'm like no way. As clumsily written and even amateurish the FITA books are, actual character development happens--Chris is forever crippled by the attic, Cathy seeks revenge only to find it isn't that satisfying, Corrine regrets the choices she made. People make choices and then consequences happen and they think it over, what a concept! It's something that in a book where the vast majority of the action consists of 4 kids stuck in an attic for years, there's more actual character and plot development than there is in 4 BOOKS of Twilight (and I like Twilight).

I am not that crazy about the sympathetic edit on Olivia either. I was quite vocal about this last winter when I watched it with my friend--I said the grandmother was too..."messy," too emotional, her hands moved too much. Book Olivia was a complete stone-cold, icy cold horrible person, very contained. COMPLETELY unmoved by the cuteness of the twins, absolutely brutal, with a very few exceptions (when she brought the plant). And then in POTW, now that she's old and helpless Cathy is unwillingly moved to pity--and then fury again when she thinks the grandmother is laughing at her.

I really wish they'd shown Cathy's visit to the attic, when she sneaks into Foxworth Hall the night of the ball. I loooooved that scene in the book--she says how she didn't expect to feel so "shredded," that she can see the ghosts of Carry and Cory running around the attic and that nothing has changed, it feels as though they'd just left. Even the squashed orange snail was still on the wall. And I wish they'd shown her discovering Cory's body.

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I felt like they were showing us the bullet points from the plot without any reactions or emotional payoff so it ended up being like the drive through lady in Dude Where's My Car just saying, "And then...and then...and then..."

Cathy came off much kind of soft here whereas in the books her rage is always bubbling. This Cathy was not the self described steel covered with frilly tutus.

One kind of minor thing I disliked about the movie is they didn't have Cathy achieve as much success as a ballerina so we didn't get to hear Bart say that he and Corrine had seen her dance with Julian many times. I also felt achieving that success was important to Cathy's identity because it was her way of proving to Corrine and Olivia that they were wrong to try to kill her.

Wasn't that Yolanda in the wings telling Chris that Cathy was about to come off stage? What a miraculous recovery!

I, too, wish they had shown Cathy in the attic before the party. It really served as a reminder as to how much it affected her and why she was so focused on getting revenge. It really destroyed all four of the kids, and all because Corrine was selfish, greedy, and weak. She wanted her father's money and Bart more than she wanted her own children and they knew it.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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Cathy came off much kind of soft here whereas in the books her rage is always bubbling. This Cathy was not the self described steel covered with frilly tutus.

One of the most memorable lines in the series. "Steel! Covered over with silly, frilly tutus!"

That said, VC Andrews could turn out moments of unexpected eloquence. I handwave away the generally adolescent and awkward prose by saying that Cathy never progressed much beyond the age at which she went into the attic so there's that. But the books do have some beautiful sweet moments, like the night of the ball (in FITA) when Christopher is going to explore the house on his own and Cathy is lying there in the bed in her new nightgown and she whispers that he looks like a knight in shining armor and they starting talking as though they're in a fairy tale. It's really sweet. And there's a moment later on, after they're getting....closer...and he kisses her full on the lips when he goes out one night, and she thinks "such a peculiar long kiss, to give me the sensation that I was falling down, down, down, when I was already lying down" and then later in that paragraph "there had to be another prince for me. There had to be some other way to have a happy ending."

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I think that VC Andrews chose to write Cathy's voice as very immature because, as you said, she was emotionally stunted and that she chose to write so many books about adolescent/teenage girls because that's when every emotion is heightened and urgent, but it's also relatable because most people remember struggling with those emotions.

 

I liked that the voices for Jory and Bart were so distinct in If There Be Thorns. It made me think that VC Andrews could have written books from perspectives other than young girls. I wonder if she specifically chose to write most of her books from the female teenager's point of view or if she or the publisher realized that's where the money was and she should give the readers what they were buying millions of.

 

And I agree that despite the sometimes very cheesy writing, she had moments that struck a chord with me. Despite all the people who complain about her writing, I think she managed to really capture the emotion of feeling powerless, trapped, and frustrated as well as making the reader understand why she loved Christopher so much and how conflicted she felt about loving him. I read bought Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey just to see what all the fuss was about and I came away from both thinking, "What the hell do these two people see in each other? I don't get it." But there was never any question in my mind that Cathy and Chris loved each other, no matter how much Cathy tried to run away and escape her feelings. I wish the movie had portrayed both their love for each other better (not just their lust) and her inner turmoil about both wanting to love someone without feeling ashamed as she did with Chris and her fear that no one else would ever love her or understand her as Chris did. When Chris explained Jory's name to Paul in the book and Cathy thought to herself how wonderful it was to be understood without having to explain anything, I knew they would end up together eventually.

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As "duh" as this may seem, her death probably threw things into flux a lot. I know that there is still a lot of debate if Andrews really wrote Garden of Shadows. It's written very much in Andrew's voice, but there are some things in there that makes you go ... hmm.... was this ghost written? Was this one of the books that Andrews had almost completed but died, so the ghostwriter just finished it?  And the reason why i bring that one up - is that Olivia's story in Garden of shadows pretty much becomes part of the "Paint by Numbers" we have now. (ie: 12 year old story, 16 year old story, Adult Story, Kid Story, Grandma). But like you said. Cathy had boys. Even though she adopted Cindy later we never hear her voice. We see Cindy through Cathy's eyes only. And she died writing Heaven and Dark Angel so who knows? I personally think we may have gotten Drake Casteel's story instead. (or Luke... or both) instead of Heaven's daughter Annie. But I like your theory - ElectricBoogalo... maybe the publisher said just write about girls. 

 

My biggest sadness was, I wish that the ghostwriter saw what the book was - and then write about what naturally made sense. 
In Dollanganger - knowing Olivia's story - completely solidifies why Olivia (as zealot-like as she became) fought every single inch of loving the children. Sure, you can go ehhh on the 1/2 uncle, 1/2 niece bit. Cousins get married (even 1st cousins, so why not), but then you get that hammer of. wow. that's why. And Cathy and Chris perpetuate it even further. 

 

In the Casteel series - we learn about Heaven  etc - and then, pretty much we learn about Leigh through everyone's story - so in essence... why are we getting a whole book about Leigh again? We didn't learn anything new...(for me - it would have been something had another twist popped up. ie: Leigh was a lolita like type of person or she and Tony actually did fall in love etc). I personally would have much preferred to learn about JIllian. 

 

In the Cutler series - we Learn about Lillian's backstory, when everyone (I knew screamed to know about Laura Sue. who cared about Lilian). and the Landrys - we didn't even really need to learn about Pearl (Ruby's daughter), we needed to know about Grandmere Catherine. so even when we did get the grandmother story - we never got the right grandmother story. 

 

It's actually kind of funny too. I think anything after Dollanganger could very easily fit in a Lifetime Movie 2 hour constraint because the complexness of the story isn't really there. But with the Dollangangers... they really needed more time to get every nook and cranny twist in there and explain why that was so, and we're not getting it. 

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I personally would have much preferred to learn about JIllian.

 

 

Me too. I wanted to know how she ended up the way she did. Annie's story told absolutely nothing new, not only that is nothing happened in that book. I mean really? What would be more interesting Jillian and how she ended up obsessed with her looks and set up her own daughter. Or Annie in which..nothing happens. 

 

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I feel like the only thing we really learned from Annie's story was that Tony was definitely a pervy pedophile rapist. I mean, we already knew that because he admitted to raping Leigh in Dark Angel, but I never bought his story that she later liked having sex with him and that even though she would scream and fight him and cry every time he raped her, "she'd succumb to [his] lovemaking like the promiscuous child she was beneath all that angelic sweetness." His attempts at raping Annie in Gates of Paradise confirmed for me that he was a creepy predator but I didn't need to read that whole book just to get that tidbit of information.

 

I agree that learning more about how Jillian became the way she was would have been more interesting. Or hell, they could have just skipped Gates of Paradise altogether. To be honest, I think both things are true of Web of Dreams - it confirmed that Tony was disgusting and they could have skipped it since it really didn't add much else to the Casteel series (heh, except money for the Andrews family).

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I never bought his story that she later liked having sex with him and that even though she would scream and fight him and cry every time he raped her, "she'd succumb to [his] lovemaking like the promiscuous child she was beneath all that angelic sweetness."

 

 

Nope, that's exactly what rapists say in court when trying to defend themselves "but she liked it", no, no she didn't.

 

To be honest, I think both things are true of Web of Dreams - it confirmed that Tony was disgusting and they could have skipped it since it really didn't add much else to the Casteel series (heh, except money for the Andrews family).

 

 

That brings up an interesting point, where the five books a series even necessary? Most of them usually lost steam or stop giving out new information after the first couple books. In Heaven, Web of Dreams and Gates of Paradise there really wasn't anything knew except Tony was creepy, which you pretty much figured out by him wanting complete control over Heaven and you know raping his thirteen year old stepdaughter. In the Ruby series, you really could do without Pearl and Gabrielle's books.  

Edited by andromeda331

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To be fair, the five books per series was first done by the Dollanganger and Casteel series (there was overlap in when the two series were released). I think the success of both series is what prompted the family to have the ghostwriter continue the five book format. I think it worked for the Dollanganger series because we got:

(1) Cathy's formative years but mostly focused on her from 12-15 years old

(2) Cathy's adult years struggling with what happened in book 1, mostly focused on her from 15-28 (but continues until she is 32)

(3) POV changes to Cathy's children (aged 10 and 14) but we now get to see Cathy through their eyes (covers less than a year total)

(4) Cathy's twilight years from age 52 until her death five years later - although she is the narrator again, the story focuses mostly on her kids again

(5) Olivia's life with Malcolm including Corrine's life until she ran away with Chris

 

In all five books, we got new information and character development. We saw how Cathy and Chris's time in the attic shaped their relationship and how it affected her children. In the earlier books, we got some snippets of information about Malcolm, Olivia, and Corrine, but in the fifth book we not only got a fuller picture of their lives and personalities but we also learned why Malcolm and Olivia were so dead set against Corrine and Chris's relationship. We also get to see how and why Olivia transformed from an almost spinster hopeful about her life with a new husband into the bitter cold hearted grandmother who refused to love Cathy and her siblings.

 

To me, the later books in the Dollanganger series were weaker than the first two, but they were still interesting and continued to tell a new story. But in the later series (like Dawn and Ruby), I felt like there were five books for the sake of having five books because the publishers stubbornly held onto the belief that if the five book structure worked for the Dollangangers then it would work for the other family series. And I think it could have worked if they had really thought about whose stories should be told. Web of Dreams was a whole lot of nothing happening. Heaven and Logan die, Tony takes Annie to Farthy to recover, she figures out he's a pervy old creep, and Troy tells her that he is her father so that she can be with Luke. When you can summarize an entire novel that succinctly, I think the plot is much too simple. I'm not saying every book has to be totally complicated with millions of subplots and surprise twists but we never really get to know Annie except as Heaven's daughter. She lies in bed for most of the book and then goes for a few walks with Troy. She has very ltitle personality and nothing really happens in the book. So was her story the best one to tell?  In my opinion, no. Or maybe a different story about Annie would have been interesting, but the one that was told was not.

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Not only was her book boring, you already knew everything that was going to happen. Its like they forgot what made all five books interesting. The twists. Not just following a pattern. Cathy's experiences in the attic shaped her entire life, but Heaven's experiences stopped shaping her and her story, once she learns Tony's her father nothing really happens until he attacks her and she goes home with Logan. Maybe she could have found out some twist about Jillian,what turned her into what she was, or who Leigh's real father was. Maybe he ditched her for someone more younger and more beautiful, or something. Or Jillian had more secrets, or something. Or maybe more on Tony's family. Like how their parents produced two very odd sons. There really could have been more different directions they could have gone instead of the ones they chose. 

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Some of you have crazy awesome memories!  I loved VC Andrews books so much.  I started reading them in high school all because of "Dawn" (my name).  If I only knew what a weird-ass storyline I was getting myself into lol   It's making me wish I still had all of the books so I could re-read them all. I'm only 31 one now and can't hardly remember what happened in any of the books.  

 

I'm nearly horrified that after I started reading them my mom got hooked as well.  Nothing like mother and daughter being into the same twisted books lol.

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