Wildflower is based on a true story of a young woman trying to navigate life while also taking care of her intellectually disabled parents.
We first meet Bea (Kiernan Shipka) in a hospital bed. After a mysterious night, she’s in a coma, surrounded by her parents, her extended dysfunctional family, her best friend, and her ex-boyfriend. No one knows what happened, or when/if she’ll wake up. However, if/when she does, will there be brain damage?
Throughout the film, we walk through Bea’s coma dream. It begins with how her parents Derek (Dash Mihoi) and Sharon (Samantha Hyde), met. Next, it moves through her birth, all the way to the present day and that mysterious night. We learn that her father had a head injury when he was younger, which caused his brain to stop developing. Her mother was born with an intellectual disability and never really progressed passed a tween. However, the two fell in love, got married, and had a baby.
WILDFLOWER SHOWS AN ATYPICAL SIDE TO GROWING UP
Usually, when stories like this are told, it’s through the eyes of the person with the disability and not those around them. However, with Wildflower, we see how Bea has adjusted her life to fit her parent’s needs.
The film is full of tough juxtapositions and hypocrisies from all characters. One of the harshest conversations comes between Jean Smart’s (Hacks) character, Peg, and her husband. The two have a gutting conversation about feeling guilty for being relieved about their daughter getting married and moving away.
While Bea loves her parents and refuses to allow anyone to make fun of them, she’s also resentful and embarrassed. The film does a good job of balancing the good and the bad that comes along with her life. It doesn’t shy away from the highs and lows of their lives.
In the end, she and her father have a beautiful conversation about knowing his daughter needs to grow up and leave the nest. He allows her to forgive herself for wanting to leave and promises that he and their mother will be fine on their own. To me, this moment shows that even though others, including Bea, see Derek and Sharon in a certain light, they are very capable and understand their circumstances. They’re also incredible and loving parents doing the best they can.
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