Flowers are springing up on movie posters--We read the symbolism behind the petals adorning ''American Beauty,'' ''Magnolia,'' and ''What Planet Are You From?''

By Jeff Jensen
Updated March 10, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST
  • Movie

You know the old saying: A rose is a rose is a marketing gimmick. Thanks to American Beauty‘s petal-adorned one-sheet, a new trend has blossomed in Hollywood: flowery posters. We asked Tinseltown florist Dolores Cantu — who has sold stems to Sela Ward and Sean Penn, among others — to read the leaves for us.

AMERICAN BEAUTY starring Kevin Spacey as a teenager-seducing suburbanite. Poster Flower Rose Symbolism Your garden-variety risqué vegetation. ”The texture is very full, very supple. A red rose smells very sexy, especially on the first day. But by the fifth day, forget it. The skin starts smelling and everything.” In other words Lust fades.

MAGNOLIA starring Tom Cruise as a dirty-mouthed sex guru. Poster Flower Magnolia Symbolism ”That flower makes you feel very virginal, very pure,” Cantu says. ”And that’s just the opposite of the movie; that movie was just so dark and wild.” In other words Irony!

WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM? starring Garry Shandling as a horny alien with malfunctioning below-the-belt equipment. Poster Flower Tulip Symbolism The perfect bulb for none-too-subtle Freudian imagery. ”The one thing about a tulip is, unless you put pennies [in the vase], or give it vodka or 7-Up, it goes limp right away.” In other words The Bob Dole of flowers.

American Beauty

  • Movie
  • R
  • 121 minutes
  • Sam Mendes