The title character of Man of Flowers is Charles (Norman Kaye), who saw his mother naked when he was a little boy, and has been obsessed with his mother and naked women ever since. He pays a psychiatrist to listen to him talk about his mother, and he pays a woman named Lisa (Alyson Best) to take off her clothes the way his mother did, giving Paul Cox, the director, an excuse to film some full frontal nudity. In between, Charles writes letters to his dead mother, addressed to himself, and goes around looking for statues of naked women to feel up.
But I guess that was not enough for Cox, so he gave Lisa a girlfriend, who is a lesbian, and they have sex together, and we get to watch. But Charles wants to watch too, so he pays them for the privilege. And that was not enough for Cox, so when Charles goes to look at the art of some guy named David (Chris Haywood), we get to see David with a naked woman. And then when Charles kills David so he can have Lisa for himself (just to watch, not to touch), he has a sculptor disguise David’s corpse as a statue. A naked statue, of course.
Now, lest we get the idea that Charles is a pervert (or that Cox is a pervert for wanting to make a movie like this), we have Lisa’s assurance that Charles is a kind, sensitive, sweet man. And then Cox wraps the whole seedy tale up in a lot of art: we have the organ that Charles plays for the church, we have operatic music unrelentingly going on in the background, we have sculpture and paintings, we have arrangements of flowers, and we have an art class, where a woman poses nude. All this gives the movie class.
In other words, Cox really put some lipstick on this pig.
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