“In Lieu of Flowers” made its debut at the 14th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival in Southern California on April 28th 2013. This drama/romance is about the typical boy meets girl while going through some of the most difficult times a human being can go through in their life. Some well-known actors such as lead Eric, played by Josh Spence (The Social Network) and Rachel, played by Spencer Grammer (Greek) may give this movie some interest as the acting was very well played out.
With a few bits of comedic relief from supporting characters, this movie is about two average people who meet in a support group to cope with the grief and loss of their significant others. Throughout the movie Rachel believes that Eric “lost his girlfriend suddenly” a few months ago but has no further explanation on what happened, while she is still trying to move on from the loss of her husband who died in a plane crash two years prior.
A question that was posed during the film that I found to be very thought provoking was when Eric asked his group counselor (to the affect of) what was the difference between losing someone and dying yourself? Another scene that I think people who have lost someone in any manner might find very relatable is when Eric addresses a recurring dream he has about his girlfriend Gretchen, played by Bonnie Swencionis that he lost. He admits that he has the same dream about her over and over again where no words are ever exchanged but an intense connection is felt and that he will never feel this feeling again, at least not while he is awake. What is interesting is that Eric seems to be a little disillusioned about the sort of relationship he had with Gretchen when he eventually discovers that he had contracted an STD, which leads to suspicions of infidelity on Gretchen’s part. Eric is also confronted by his roommate, Tony, played by Nathan Corddry, about his view on Eric’s relationship with Gretchen and that it was not healthy for him.
To anyone who has every felt a great loss in their lives they will certainly be able to appreciate Spencer Grammer’s performance in this movie. She really shows how terribly lonely she is by cutting off the outside world as much as possible (until she befriends Eric). She makes a few valid attempts to move on from her loss but seems to be constantly disappointed by others, including Eric.
There are many moments in the movie where there are clever witty lines by the characters as the two lean on each other for support through this painful time in their lives. Their relationship with one another slowly evolves but it seems that neither one of them are fully ready to move on to a new relationship. This is unfortunate because it seems that Eric and Rachel finally found someone that can understand them through one another. This movie can be viewed as quite depressing, as it seems the pain of these two can never end but in the end it is shown that “life goes on.”