Dinner & a Movie: (True) Love and Flowers Can't Make Up for Lying, Cheating, and Stealing"/>
The Dinner: Sandwiches and drinks at Flowers Bar and Restaurant (4247 University Way N.E.)
The Screenplate: You'd think people expected a porno with A-listers and a true-story plot, the way they talked about I Love You Phillip Morris. Truth is, this movie is a cutesy romantic comedy.Jim Carrey, starring as Steven Russell, peppers his performance with his old-fashioned facial expressions. Russell seems a good outlet for that, being so socially excitable and bizarre.
ILYPM was really funny. It was full of witty dialogue and great situational humor while the occasional penis joke floated through the script the way penis-shaped clouds floated through the sky.
It isn't that you love or hate Russell; it's that you love him, then you hate him. His character is disillusioned and torn between an addiction to conning and his love for Phillip Morris. After the initial giddy excitement over his smart cons, we realize, with the help of Jimmy (Russell's ex-lover), that Russell is only as good as he treats the love of his life, Phillip Morris.
Morris, on the other hand (played by Ewan McGregor), was a consistently lovable character. Maybe someone out there was surprised to find that Phillip Morris doesn't even smoke cigarettes.
The plot fluctuates between trouble in paradise and paradise in the midst of trouble, depending upon which side of the bars the star-crossed lovers are on.
Flowers, the diner-esque bar and restaurant on University Avenue, is also a grab bag. I'd heard things about the place which were just awful. I'd heard the service was not only terrible, but terrifying, and that the drinks were weak. But we took our seats by the window, which was the entire wall on two sides of the restaurant. The snow started coming down as promised. Immediately I knew things would be OK. Our waitress was friendly and fairly quick. We ordered some classic cocktails, including the gritty-sounding Blood and Sand, which was smooth with vermouth and cherry brandy. We ordered sandwiches, which, like the rest of the menu, included carnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan options.
My date loved the chicken sandwich--said it was dressed up fancy--although my French brie sandwich was little more than a hoagie out of the bag with semi-melted cheese in the center. But I simply loved being there. Flowers has a grungy charm. It's dark inside with red tree lights over the bar and a few tables. But not the kind of dark where you're worried what you'd see if the lights came on.
The windows are of the variety that you can easily stare out of for hours, before realizing your coffee's gone cold or someone else has drunk your beer. Russell, had he not been on his way to the slammer, would have done some serious soul-searching after one of his fights with Morris. Or he could have hatched plans over clams and Sazeracs at the stage table with cushioned chairs. The only conspiring I did there involved seeing my date more often, while Carrey's would have been breaking lover Phillip Morris out of jail, or making millions of dollars by screwing over a huge company. This is a place to get some space, whether to catch up with people or think. Especially for a bar in the University District, Flowers was quiet and comforting.