Petunia is a dark comedy about an off-beat family of New Yorkers who must come to terms with their dysfunctional behavior and misgivings about life, relationships and love. The Petunia family is made up of Charlie (Tobias Segal), Adrian and Michael (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and their meddling psychoanalyst parents (Christine Lahti and David Rasche). Michael and his wife Vivian (Thora Birch) deal with a surprise pregnancy, while Adrian finds himself with a case of sex-addiction. Charlie is in love with George, who is in a polyamorous relationship with fitness fanatic Robin (Brittany Snow), while parents Felicia and Percy must decide whether to reignite the spark in their relationship or start all over again.
There are many antics going on in this movie, as the parents try to play it cool, while they are treating their patients and dishing out advice for their sons. Charlie is repressing his sexual feelings, because he has seen so much hurt in the past. Even by popping himself with a rubberband, he is not able to hold out for long. While at his brother’s wedding, he meets George. But George just happens to be married—wait for it—to a woman!
Michael and Vivian are newlyweds, but when she finds herself pregnant, she is overwhelmed with guilt because she isn’t certain if it is her husband’s baby or her brother-in-law’s. And Adrian has been advised by his mother to find a woman who isn’t that attractive because, although he is a sex fiend, he is constantly telling his one-night stands that he loves them. At this rate, he will be in deep trouble, so he takes his mother’s advice and finds a woman who is full figured and not that easy on the eyes.
Throughout the movie, there is one weird or uncomfortable incident after another. The father, played by David Rasche, finally gets a jump start on his libido, only to have the encounter with his wife turn into yet another argument in the end. Although there are situations that seem awkward, in the end the family members deal with the cards that they have been issued, and each one in his or her own way find love and a way to continue on, in the midst of all the dysfunction and quirkiness. I liked the film, because I adore the parents, and the three sons, although seemingly dependent upon the parents, eventually learned to strike out on their own and stay there—while conquering their own problems.
Petunia is available now on VOD from FilmBuff.