Follow TV Tropes


Film / Petals on the Wind

Go To

In 2014, Lifetime did a Made-for-TV Movie adaptation of the book.


Tropes associated with the movie include:

  • Abled in the Adaptation:
    • Henny is not mute in the movie.
    • Olivia is not mute when Cathy confronts her.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Georges has Madame Zolta's role.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The book is a sprawling soap opera spread over 15 years. The movie, understandably, cuts that down.
    • Adapted Out: The opening scenes of the movie are of Paul's funeral, thus eliminating not only the rest of the children's growing up years, but him from the story.
    • Time Skip: Unlike the book, the movie picks up 10 years after the conclusion of its predecessor.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In the book, Cathy is far more central, with Chris and Carrie in supporting roles. This makes sense given the framing device of this being Cathy's memoir. In the movie that framing device is cut, and the Dollanganger siblings are on much more equal footing. This is accomplished by having Cathy's plotlines trimmed down, Carrie's left largely the same, and Chris's plumped up.
  • Advertisement:
  • Canon Foreigner: Sarah and her father, Dr. Reeves, have no book counterparts.
  • Berserk Button: Corrine is this for Carrie.
    Carrie: [Angry Collar Grab] Don't talk about my mother!
  • Blatant Lies: Chris's claim that "I love both my sisters the same." He may love Carrie as much as he loves Cathy, but he most certainly does not love her the same. Chris knows it, Carrie knows it, the audience knows it, and it's just really awkward.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Cathy and Chris had a pregnancy, which ended in a miscarriage, which Cathy interpreted as Laser-Guided Karma.
    Cathy: God already punished us once.
    Chris: Cathy, lots of women have miscarriages.
  • Crippling the Competition: Julian does this on Cathy's behalf, putting glass in Yolanda's shoes so that Cathy will have to replace her in the lead role.
  • Disposing of a Body: This is made explicit when Cory's body is in a trunk and Corrine directly tells Chris they have to get rid of the body.
  • Advertisement:
  • Double Meaning: Chris warns Julian never to touch "his sister" again—but he has two sisters, and Julian has touched both of them. The first meaning is "Don't you ever dare molest Carrie again." The second is "Don't you ever lay a hand on Cathy again."
    Chris: Don't you ever touch my sister again, do you hear me?
  • Fanservice: Petals is the only one of the 4 books in which Cathy and Chris don't have sex. (Although to be fair, it is probably the book where they make out the most.) The viewers are Just Here for Incest, and so they can't have that. A scene is added, and that scene is then put in the trailer.
  • Hope Spot: After Cathy goes back to New York after Chris's graduation, Julian apologizes for being a dick, cries, and asks what he can do to make it up to her.
  • If Only You Knew: Oh Sarah.
    Sarah: [to Chris] You know, I think it's really sweet how much you love your sister.
  • Incest Subtext: There is an uncomfortable scene where Carrie asks Chris if he loves her "the same way [he] loves Cathy"—having just witnessed Cathy and Chris having sex.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Cathy finds Chris drinking whiskey alone on the night before his wedding.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Cathy, Chris, while making out in your own house is theoretically fair game, don't do it when you know Sarah is also in the house!
  • Mistaken from Behind: One of the girls in Cathy's ballet class gets picked up by a woman who—from behind—looks a great deal like Corrine. Cathy's adrenaline rises before the woman turns around.
  • Never My Fault: Near the end of the movie, Corrine blames Olivia for turning her kids against her and exposing her, since she was the one who forced her to lock them in the attic in the first place. Apparently she forgot that she was the one who abandoned them after attempting to poison them.
  • Surprise Car Crash: Unlike in the book, the car crash that kills Julian happens onscreen here. The scene is shot in accordance with this trope.
  • Trauma Button: Don't offer Carrie a doughnut.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: