An intriguing misfire of a romantic drama that stumbles in its attempts to blend the features of a fairy tale with the realities of modern-day dating such as emotional baggage, commitment phobia, and demanding careers. The huge disconnection between the two types of story that writer-director Michael Goldenberg is trying to tell is seen most clearly in the differences between the two lead characters, Lisa (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Lewis (Christian Slater). The former is hostile, brittle, and damaged, her own worst enemy, a psychologically modern construction to be sure, but providing very little that's likable or identifiable for a mass audience. Why anyone other than an emotional masochist would be interested in her is beyond imagining. On the other hand, the latter is a romance novelist's dream of a sensitive modern male. Lewis is not afraid of commitment, having once been married with a child, both his wife and progeny now conveniently, tragically dead. He has dropped out of the corporate rat race, but still owns a successful business, so he's no deadbeat. He even delivers flowers to people personally to see the looks of joy on their faces. His chief attraction to Lisa seems to be her unrelenting sadness, which better recommends him as her therapist than her boyfriend. Lewis is, simply put, way too good to be true. Bed of Roses is quite an interesting concept for a film, but the execution never quite makes its meeting of polar opposites work, maybe because Goldenberg needs to lean in one direction or the other; his film should be more darkly realistic or more of a frothy pipe dream, but not such a 50-50 mixture of both.
by Karl Williams review