John Robert’s romantic comedy starring Eva Birthistle and Charity Wakefield as two sisters stuck within a love-hate relationship, fails not only to depict meaningful characters, but also, if not mainly, to narrate a substantial story. Rosa and Ailie are the complete opposite, the first is a fervent left-wing activist whilst the second is the popular party girl. From the start, the sisters come with the accessories, the outfits and the general clichés associated with these simple descriptions, hindering any acting performance to actually stand out.
The narration starts in medias res and within the first 10 min of the film, the two of them are actually in Cuba to scatter their late father’s ashes they have just stolen from the funerals. From the moment they step outside of the plane, to the final act in a Cuban dancing room, the film jumps from one story to another, failing to actively link actions and consequences to a solid narrative framework. This wouldn’t be such an issue if the film stuck itself to a nice and fluffy sisters’ trip kind of adventure; but the narration keeps on juggling within political issues, actually trying to awkwardly raise an awareness about Cuba’s situation, focusing on its population and the way tourist are (mis)treated in the country.
As if it wasn’t bad enough, Ailie will probably make every feminist watching the film cringe. In the first act in Cuba, she states and demonstrates that exposing her breasts is what probably let her out of a bad situation at the border control. By the end of the film, she shouts to her new guy, who has just confessed he liked her and respected her, that he shouldn’t treat her with respect as she would like to keep her sexual life as exciting as it is now.
The photography of the film is rather agreeable to watch, some of the songs quite nice to listen to, but they by no way excuse the mistreatment of the characters, the messy views they try to expose, and the clumsy narration that comes along with it. The film does neither manage to find its soul nor its voice.
Day of the Flowers (2013), directed by John Roberts, is released on DVD in the UK by Metrodome, Certificate 15. Watch the trailer below: