Confession of a Florist (review)

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Here’s a tasty delicacy for Valentine’s Day: Frank Patterson’s daintily turned black comedy about bigotry, gossip, and murder in a small Florida town. February 14 is only a few days away, and florist Rose (Leslie France), a timid little mouse of a thing with her pastel cardigans and floral skirts and doormat demeanor, is unable to cope with the holiday rush. Putting her reluctance aside, she hires Willyum (Wayne DeHart), ex-con trying to go straight, to help out around the shop, and much to their own surprise, they become fast friends: Rose helps Willyum mend his relationship with his wife, who’s never forgiven him for abandoning her for prison, and Willyum helps Rose in a little matter concerning the recently deceased body of her husband. Patterson was teaching film at a Tallahassee university when he decided to use local talent in his own production, and the result is quite a genteel little murder comedy suffused in gothic tropical charm, in which our Southern belle, in giving in to her killer instinct, takes the first steps along the path of blossoming into her own person. Politically correct? No way. But that’s not a phrase that’s ever been applied to the South before, so why start now?

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