Bed of Roses [1933]

"Bed of Nails" would have been a better title for this romance, an excruciating exercise that brings out all the worst in the genre. Christian Slater's performance is the high point of this flick, but his character is so obvious that even his subtle skills ultimately makes little difference. Slater plays Lewis, a florist who looks up one night during one of his habitual nocturnal walks and spies Mary Stuart Masterson weeping in a window. The next day he follows her to work and delivers a gorgeous arrangement of posies, leaving her guessing as to the identity of her secret admirer. We must wonder why Lewis pursues her with abandon, as Masterson's character Lisa seems nothing but a dull workaholic. Well, okay, she's also neurotic. First-time director-writer Michael Goldenberg's lopsided script lets us see the psychic damage harbored by both of the main characters, but doesn't make Lisa interesting enough to warrant all the attention heaped upon her, whereas Lewis is a model of perfection. Goldenberg often slips and slides over many details in the story. Since the dialogue is not particularly witty or meaningful, and the plot has pretty much withered by the second reel, there isn't much left on the screen to enjoy. --Rochelle O'Gorman

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