Is Wildflower (2023) Based on a True Story?

The coming-of-age Movie Wildflower, which features Kiernan Shipka, follows the tale of Bea, the child of Derek (Dash Mihok) and Sharon (autistic actress Samantha Hyde), two neurodivergent people. An accident renders Bea unconscious throughout her senior year of high school, forcing her to examine the complexities of her life through flashbacks.

Bea dives into her daily challenges with trying to balance caring for her parents’ intellectual disabilities with pursuing her own personal goals, such as going to college and finding a boyfriend. In its entirety, “Wildflower” explores issues related to family dynamics, adolescence, love, and sacrifice. Although the film has a great cast and touches on a variety of emotional topics. As the movie delves into the diverse cast of characters, many viewers have pondered whether the movieis based on a true story. so here’s all we (tvacute) know.

Is Wildflower (2023) Based on a True Story?

Yes, the movie “Wildflower” is based on a true story. It draws inspiration from the director Matt Smulker‘s niece Christina Stahl and her parents as well as Nicholas DiBella Smukler’s life. Smukler and his co-writer Alex Lee Savage recognized the potential in transforming this true family saga into a humorous fictional account with a dash of reality. The storyline of the movie centers on a little girl named Bea, who shares Smukler’s niece’s neurodivergent parents.

Just like Bea’s journey in the movie, Christina’s adolescence was filled with the responsibility of caring for her neurodivergent parents. Through all the challenges and joyful moments that came with this commitment, Christina’s story unfolded.

It’s interesting to note that “Wildflower” was originally a short film before becoming a documentary. An accompanying video essay was initially intended to be made for Smukler’s niece’s college application. Smukler, however, saw the family’s happiness as the documentary was being made, and she understood that their experience could serve as an encouraging coming-of-age story. The concept was decided to be expanded into a full-length feature picture as a result of this realization.

Smukler and Savage ultimately chose to incorporate comedy into the story to offer a distinct viewpoint on Bea’s life, despite their initial reluctance owing to the significant labor on the companion piece. The script was developed quickly after, and gifted actress Kiernan Shipka joined the cast, resulting in “Wildflower” as we know it today.

The fact that “Wildflower” is based on someone so close to the director lends the movie more authenticity because it honestly depicts Bea’s ups and downs. The ensemble gave their individual viewpoints and performances to the characters they played, even though the film is based on real individuals and their experiences.

Wildflower Movie (2023) Story

In the film “Wildflower,” the protagonist is Bea, a senior in high school whose parents, Derek and Sharon, have intellectual disabilities. In a coma and narrating the story with sardonic humor, Bea is seen laying in a hospital bed at the start of the movie.  She jokingly muses on how she sometimes feels entrapped in her family, especially when her frightened relatives are all gathered around her.

The story of Bea’s family history is revealed in flashbacks, including how her parents met, fell in love, were married, and had her despite the opposition of their own parents. The film also depicts Bea’s upbringing in her parents’ crowded Las Vegas house, where she had to care for both of them.

Sharon, Bea’s mother, is shown in the movie in a youthful way, frequently running around and finding happiness in the little things in life. Due to a brain injury he experienced as a young child, Derek, Bea’s father, is portrayed as a likable goofball. Bea’s grandma is depicted as struggling yet with elegance, whereas Derek’s mother (Jacki Weaver) is shown to be a narcissist.

As the plot develops, the movie focuses on Bea’s adolescent years, The romance between her and Ethan (Charlie Plummer), a new student at school who becomes her first love, is a major theme of the film. Bea is a bright young woman with intelligence, but she struggles with the idea of going away to college because she feels her parents can’t manage without her. The coming-of-age dramedy “Wildflower,” explores a young woman’s journey through love, familial complications, and the difficulties of having parents who are mentally challenged.

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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