While Mother Nature is busy making sure that spring is “sprunging,” The Rose Maker is a perfect reflection of the season. In fact, I wish that French director and co-writer Pierre Pinaud could have used Smell-O-Vision cards to allow viewers to sniff the aromas of the flowers on screen.
But while gorgeous blooms fill out the frames, we are introduced to the ingratiating Madame Eve Vernet (Catherine Frot), a middle-ager who is having a hard time financially as a nursery grower who cultivates new strains of roses. One who can’t deny her habit of smoking from a pipe or calming herself with red wine? She is determined to keep the business created by her father, who died 15 years ago, that bears her family name. Luckily, her loyal assistant Vera has found a way to keep her from bankruptcy as she enlists a 20-something young man named Fred, a 50-year-old man Samir and a shy adolescent girl Nadège — all misfits and happy to be set free from the state.
While the staffers are glad to eventually get a pay check once Eve decides to sell a fair share of roses for bouquets and flower arrangements, they must be tutored in the art of sniffing scents and cross-pollinating with other roses to make new breeds. Fred, who bears a rose and lion sleeve tattoo, is the most valuable member of the crew since he has a knack for larcency and a nose for aromas. That allows Fred to snatch a rare plant from the slick owner of a giant industrial corporate rose farm, who desperately wants to buy out Eve. He uses the clipping to cultivate a new fragrant rose scent that might let her to keep her business going if she enters her new strain.
As for the humans onscreen, they also get rooted, too, and make a great team as they go on to future endeavors. There are a few amusing moments, such as when a wordless gangsta-type rap tune breaks out when Fred does his deed. And I must say it’s been eons since I have heard the song “Red Roses for a Blue Lady” sung by Dean Martin that opens the movie.