It seems a good bet that unless you've seen and enjoyed the Mexican Netflix television series on which this is based, House of Flowers: The Movie will be nearly unwatchable. Written accounts tag this as a gift from the director and cast to the defunct TV shows' adoring worldwide fans. Anyone not steeped in the minutiae of the phenomenon will be overwhelmed by a flood of characters, and to comprehend the action their names and relationships to each other must be identified, understood, and remembered. The cast strains to achieve over-the-top performances in this farcical, painfully-inept plot, a plot so self mocking that the ineptitude could only be deliberate. But deliberate is not the same as good. Drug problems are a joke, murder is a joke, adultery is a joke. All are subjects that make this fare most suitable for teens, but only teens with a lot of patience.
Allegedly designed in its first seasons to satirize the telenovela style of overwrought soap opera, it's now a parody itself, a time-release capsule of overused ideas, doled out indecipherably. Someone asks, "Why do rich people in Mexico have the worst taste?" a question that, even if true, hardly represents groundbreaking social thought. SNL did genre parodies 40 years ago, and movies, including Airplane!, Young Frankenstein, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad, and This is Spinal Tap. Those and others made genre-mocking a mainstream guilty pleasure. With nothing new to offer, there's no pleasure, guilty or otherwise, here.