Spending a cozy eve with a movie and a bowl of popcorn is one of the best ways to take a little break from the daily hustle-bustle. Why not combine this kind of leisure with a planting hobby? Some great films for all age groups include various plants, from serious nature documentaries to hilarious low-budget parodies. Also, tricky designers and producers of your favorite TV shows sometimes purposefully leave some hints for you. However, to decipher the code, you need to know where to look. We have created a list of our favorite movies and TV shows starring plants: in some, green friends are the center of the plot, while in others, they are just a pretty detail. Read on to learn more about plants in pop culture!
The Botany of Desire (2009)
This is a nature documentary based on the 2001 non-fiction book by Michael Pollan. The movie discusses the interesting topic of breeding apples, potatoes, marijuana, and tulips. Each of the plants represents a human desire: for sweetness, sustenance, intoxication, and beauty, respectively. So how have humans affected the development of these plants, and how they, in turn, have influenced us? This documentary definitely should appear on your watch list.
Léon: The Professional (1994)
This masterpiece of French action cinema has become a cult movie that does not gain its popularity even though it was created almost 20 years ago. And yeah, it’s not about plants at all: we are sure you know the story. The plot is centered around Leon, a professional killer, who adopts a 12-years old Mathilda after her family dies. Throughout the whole film, Leon cares not only for Natalie Portman’s streetwise character but also for a picturesque plant. He refers to it as his best friend. This plant is a tropical aglaonema. Must-watch classics!
The Secret Garden (1993), (2020)
There are several ecranisations of long-time classics written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We recommend seeing all of them, but our favorite ones are the one produced in 1993 and the freshly made version of 2020. Watch how the unloved, spoiled child develops and improves herself as she finds the abandoned secret garden. This timeless story is another example of how rewarding and inspiring mother nature is with all its variety of greenery and bloom.
The Lorax (2012)
The Lorax is an absolutely charming computer-animated film for the whole family. Based on the book by Dr.Seuss, which depicts a world without any more trees left, the cartoon raises the significant issue of climate change. “The Lorax” book was even banned in many schools in California as the authorities thought children would protest the mass logging that contributed to a large percentage of the economy in the 70s.
The movie tells the story of a boy living in a city full of artificial vegetation and plants. So when his crush tells him she wants to see a real tree, he decides to find one, and that is when the adventure begins.
Fantastic Fungi (2019)
Chitin in cell walls makes fungi a separate kingdom. However, this documentary is a sincere recommendation, so please do not blame us for adding it to this list. The film includes an exceptional visual part with time-lapse photography, so it would be interesting to any nature lover. Mysterious mushrooms might grow only an inch above the ground. However, their influence on the world’s ecosystems is soo powerful!
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
A breathtaking sci-fi that will become classic one day. The plot tells the story of a group of characters, including a raccoon and a tree, who need to save the galaxy from evil. Even though the movie's issues are not related to mother nature, we love Groot - a friendly and unbelievably cute tree-like creature. Also, be careful; the playlist might make you dance all throughout the film. We are Groot, aren’t we?
FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
Another movie for children which discusses not a childish issue: the animated film, according to its producer Wayne Young, is "blatantly environmental." FernGully is a magical Australian rainforest inhabited by fairies and other magical creatures. Th rainforest faces danger when human lumberjacks come and cut down the tree, which imprisons a dark spirit named Hexxus. As Hexxus is now free, he manipulates the humans, and together they start to destroy FernGully. The fairies and one of the lumberjacks, shrank to a tiny size, fight together and risk their lives to save their home.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978)
This movie might contradict the title of the article a little bit. However, we must admit that it is SO bad that it can be considered experimental, avant-garde, or at least stylish. A sci-fi horror parody that tells the unbelievable story of tomatoes that became killers. We recommend all three sequels as well. Say no more…
Roses in 'Gossip Girl' (2007)
The 'Gossip Girl' TV series premiered in 2007. For five long years, viewers tried to guess who was the know-it-all blogger destroying lives with a simple tap on the keyboard. We all have different feelings about how the show ended, but we can all agree that the designers did a fantastic job creating a unique style for each character.
A great example would be Chuck Bass and white roses. In season 4, we see a new version of Chuck. He has amnesia, lives in Italy, and wants to become a new man with a new love, Eva. Throughout the first few episodes, he wears white roses. You might say that this symbolizes his innocent love, but we firmly believe that the designers used these flowers to show the new start, purity, and truth that Chuck was now living by. Once Chuck returns to his true self, white roses disappear entirely from his wardrobe.
Aconite in 'You' (2018)
Continuing the topic of TV shows that had us on the edge of our seats, we have 'You.' The thriller series based on the works of Caroline Kepnes tell us a story about your boy-next-door Joe, who is looking for pure love. Through 3 seasons, we follow him (ironic, right?) in his desperate search.
He finally found what he deserves in seasons 2 and 3, with Love (the name of the girl he is now dating). However, it seems like Love might be much tougher than Joe initially anticipated. At the beginning of season 3, viewers could see Love planting some aconite, a highly poisonous plant, in their garden. Was it an honest mistake or an evil plan? I guess you will have to see for yourself!
Upside Down Vines from 'Stranger Things' (2016)
Though you could argue that these are half-alive (sorry for the spoiler!), today, we will talk about them from a purely botanical perspective.
In the second season, Hopper sees some 'strange things' going on. Patches of land suddenly go dry, pumpkins rot, and nothing seems to thrive. At first, he thinks nothing of it, but as the mysterious disease progresses, he decides to investigate it. Hopper goes underground into the tunnel. There he 'meets' Vines, the dominant form of life in the Upside Down. These 'tendrils' play a crucial role (pun intended) in creating suspense and horror in the second season.
Roses in 'Game of Thrones' (2016)
Let’s talk about the roses of House Tyrell. From a heraldic standpoint, rose could mean fertile soil, which provided enough money for the House to be considered the second wealthiest family after the Lannisters. However, let's explore this symbol a bit further. When we look at the rose, we are often in awe of its beauty, and our hand involuntarily reaches toward its colorful lusciousness, trying to take it with us. That's where we are met with a surprise – sharp thorns protecting delicate flowers.
Let's recall Margaery Tyrell, a beautiful girl with bad luck in marriage. This noble lady always kept everybody on their toes. Margaery would be sweet and docile in one episode and then dangerous and challenging in the next. However, she always found a way to let her close family know about her sympathy. For example, if one of the episodes, she gives her grandmother, Lady Olenna, a note with a simple rose drawn on it.
Roses in 'The Bachelor' (2002)
A red rose on a long stem (preferably handed to you by a person of your dreams) is the most desired flower. We all probably have that one guilty pleasure show. We would never admit to watching it, but when we come home after a long exhausting day, we turn on the TV and let our brains rest. For a lot of people, 'The Bachelor' is The Show.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept, 'The Bachelor' is a reality show where one man gets to date several women simultaneously. These ladies undergo a series of trials to prove their compatibility with The Man. At the end of each week, there is a Rose Ceremony, where the bachelor hands out roses (hence the name) to the ladies with whom he wants to continue getting to know each other. It is, perhaps, the most intense part of the show. However, some people did not know that the florists noticed an increase in orders for red roses on a long stem right after each Monday episode's end.
As you can see, plants are widely used for their beauty and ability to convey secret messages and images. Stay tuned to learn more about hidden meanings you might have missed in your favorite shows or movies!