The Flower of My Secret

by December Lambeth on April 27, 2005

in DVD Reviews 

Spanish film maker Pedro Almodóvar (Bad Education and Talk To Her) softens his touch, bringing out some ugly realities to disappointment in life and love.

The Flower of My Secret
1 & 1/2 Stars

Released on DVD Spring 2005

Spanish film maker Pedro Almodóvar (Bad Education and Talk To Her) softens his touch, bringing out some ugly realities to disappointment in life and love.

Spanish film maker Pedro Almodóvar, known for such films as Talk to Her, Bad Education, and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, brings us a more down to earth story about a woman hitting a mid-life crisis, with all the bells and whistles. She gets to experience all the great shit that life likes to throw at you right at the point it is least invited.

A romance novelists, Amanda Gris is her secret identity, Leo Macias (Marisa Paredes) true name, is finding out that her life is ending up less and less like her romance novels and more like some form of nightmare. Leo finds out that her U.N. husband is no longer in love with her and has been sleeping with her best friend for years. He very seldom came home because his job required a great deal of travel and when he did come home he blamed Leo of being to sensitive and touchy about things. He would never call her, even if she had called and left plenty of messages. When she did get ahold of him he was short and impatient with her. This treatment only steamed and motivated Leo into great depths of depression and writing. She began writing the exact opposite of her romance novels and started writing about death and mystery. When she finished her first novel in it’s new form and presented it to her publisher he turned it down for content, he reminded her that she was under contract to write fluffy trashy romance novels. This request gave Leo a great deal of difficulty because the last thing she was feeling was love and romance.

Her best friend had suggested that she go and visit with a newspaper editor, Angel (Juan Echanove), so she could find a different outlet for her depression and her writing abilities. When meeting with Angel, Leo had seen an Amanda Gris book on his desk and asked who was the fan. He had replied that he was a huge fan of Amanda’s work and has a pro column on her novels. Leo had shown much disappointment and disgust towards her book, she had wanted to think about other types of writing not writing a column on how great her hidden personality is. Angel had suggested that maybe she writes a column disputing his on Amanda Gris’ novels and her ability to write; Leo, deciding that wasn’t the best thing for her, leaves Angel wishing he had not suggested it in the first place. Later on down the line Angel called her and said that her writing was so brilliant that she most certainly publish the book she had provided to him for samples and he was to help her. With a renewed since of confidence she tells her publisher to F-off and goes home ready to give it one last try with her husband.

When her husband shows up she finds out all about the cheating and the deception and in a fit of depression she makes an effort to overdose. A call from her mother saying she was going back to the village and nobody truly cared set a fire under her and she made herself throw up and get out of the apartment. Even though Leo got out of the apartment she headed straight for a bar, not a good idea. Leaving the bar in a ray of despair she runs into Angel, who takes her to her mom and drives them to the old village. There Leo is nurtured back to health and accidentally shared with Angel who she truly is, Amanda Gris. Angel had been smitten with her before, but now he can’t help himself. Knowing that her husband is out of the picture and Leo could use a shoulder to cry on, Angel puts himself right there by her side and shows Leo that life isn’t over yet.

Leo picks herself up and gets her mystery published and finds just the right pair of boots to fit her in the end.

Not a typical edgy charactered film for Pedro Almodóvar and a little slow, but certainly a great story. Most women can relate to what Leo was going through, if not in all areas then some. I get what it’s like to be disappointed in what seems so comfortable and finding it hard to leave what you know, but taking the risk and making that leap of faith is all part of life. Everyday somebody is getting the shit end of the deal, it’s how you deal with it that makes you who you are.

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