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Day of the Flowers


Stars: Eva Birthistle, Charity Wakefield, Carlos Acosta, Bryan Dick, Christopher Simpson, Phyllis Logan, Manuel de Blas, Olivia Poulet, Robert Fitch

Director: John Roberts

There's bags of Cuban atmosphere in this uneven romantic drama about two Scottish girls who journey to the Caribbean to scatter his ashes in the aforementioned island, which is where the older, Rosa (Birthistle), was conceived.

Thanks to the machinations of a taxi driver who imagines himself slighted by the girls after his vehicle breaks down, the ashes end up in the hands of the Cuban Customs, who are convinced they have some suspicious substance on their hands.

Desperate, Rosa looks for assistance in retrieving the ashes - and looks in the wrong place.

This leads to an excellent sequence towards the end of the movie, as Rosa is welcomed by a Cuban family, whose true intentions are hidden from her until it's almost too late.

Dancer Acosta struts barely a step, and is otherwise unimpressive as the rather contrived love interest for Rosa. Birthistle (from Dublin) and Wakefield (from Tunbridge Wells!) are to be congratulated on their Scottish accents, although an onion also to Wakefield for one of the least convincing burst-into-tears scenes ever put on screen.

Photography of Cuba - especially at night - by Vernon Leyton is beautifully textured and burns with atmosphere. The audience for all this is obviously sub-teen girls, so another onion, this time to the writers for putting in one too many f-words into the dialogue for the film get the 12A certificate it needs. And the continental title - Hasta La Vista, Sister! - if a trifle misleading, would certainly have given this rather misogynistic, if easy-to-take picture a better chance at the UK box-office.

David Quinlan

Cuba/UK 2013. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour by deluxe.
99 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 29 Nov 2013