About halfway through Flower, 17-year-old Erica (Zoey Deutch) tells another character, “As you can tell, I have major daddy issues.” We can certainly tell from the opening scene, in which her friends record her fellating a police officer, the latest in a string of blackmail targets used to raise funds to bail her absentee father out of prison. Or from the “Daddy” t-shirt she wears to the supermarket to hook another mark.
Deutch, in the latest of a string of great performances, provides balance to the film’s self-reflexive, dark coming-of-age comedy. With material that could test our patience and the limits of credibility, she gives nuance to the charming-yet-quarrelsome, smart, and potentially dangerous teen. She, and the strong cast around her, add depth to the buoyancy of an uneven script, make sense of all the tonal changes, and infuse Flower with more than enough vivacity to keep us interested in the misadventure.