7/15/2005

Top 10 Gardening Movies

I'm a fan of Bill Murray after enjoying movies like Groundhog Day , Lost in Translation, and Little Shop of Horrors. And by now you should know how I feel about plants, flowers, and all things botanical. So when I noticed that Bill Murray is staring in a movie coming out soon called Broken Flowers, I'm as ravenous as an aphid on a rose bush to go see it.

While we wait for the August 5th release, here are some other movies are worthy of gardening-related themes and names:

1. Little Shop of Horrors, the original cult classic (1960)
2. Greenfingers
3. Saving Grace
4. Adaptation
5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
6. Little Shop of Horrors, the musical (1986)
7. Bed of Roses
8. White Oleander
9. Garden State
10. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Honorable Mention:
Steal Magnolias, Magnolia

The Little Shop of Horrors
Most of you are probably familiar with this botanical classic, but you might not know that long before the Broadway musical and spin-off movie musical, there was an original cult classic B-movie version. The original version offers a cameo by a young Jack Nicholson, a surprise ending, and all the frills of a typical low-budget movie. And the original is not a musical, which is a plus in my book.

The musical version of The Little Shop of Horrors is entertaining, however. Steve Martin gives a great performance as a sadistic dentist. And where else can you see a singing plant?

Greenfingers…Saving Grace
These two movies made the top of my list because they are true gardening movies—they are focused around characters that have an obsession for plants. Greenfingers and Saving Grace are both British comedies, so these movies may be difficult to locate but very much worth the effort. Greenfingers is based on a true story of a British prison that gave inmates a chance to become gardeners, while Saving Grace is about a woman who finds herself penniless after her husband’s death and resorts to utilizing her gardening skills and resources on a special plant much different from her prize-winning orchids.

A Rose by any other name?
The middle-section of my list is composed of great movies that happed to have botanical symbolism. Adaptation, with Oscar-nominated performances by Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, is a strange but mesmerizing journey loosely based on the novel The Orchid Thief. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is also based on a best-selling novel, but be prepared for this movie to pull at your heart-strings.

Bed of Roses is a romance, and if you are a true plant geek you will swoon over the most beautiful rooftop garden I’ve ever seen on film, not Christian Slater as a florist.

White Oleander is a rather dark movie, but with great acting, including Lindsay Lohan’s breakthrough performance.

Garden State was a great flick, and I could easily relate when I was going through my quarter life crisis. And I admit I have a celebrity crush on Zach Braff. He was a writer/director/actor in this film, but I first noticed him on Scrubs. I was googling him and came up with Zach Braff's Garden State Blog.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Another cult classic. Whenever someone gets all hysterical about genetic engineering I think of this movie. Yeah, when we put a ethylene resistant gene into tomatoes, they could turn into the Tomatoes of Wrath! Whatever.

Any Suggestions?
If you have other movies worthy of this list, let me know.

3 comments:

momo said...

I just stumbled across your list of gardening movies and it's fantastic! A friend of mine is thinking about doing a gardening movie series, but we couldn't think of any. All I remember is an Audrey Hepburn docu-series, nice, but not the same thing as a good story. Thanks,
Maureenatbayflora.com

Anonymous said...

'Being There' might qualify... Peter Sellers' last film where he is the gardener of an estate. He is named Chance but is mistaken for someone named Chauncey Gardener who's garden-inspired wisdom let's him become an advisor to a president.

Anonymous said...

Lindsey Lohan isn't in White Oleander.