Written and Directed: Trish Doolan
Get ready for the latest addition to the It's In The Water and But I'm a Cheerleader lesbian camp canon.
Like many films before it, April's Shower starts out slowly and practically pummels the audience with a staggering array of textbook personality types and cliches. All of the characters are guests and gatecrashers at a wedding shower being thrown for bride-to-be April (Maria Cina, who bears a resemblance to SVU legend Mariska Hargitay) by her maid of honour Alex (Trish Doolan).
There's the groom of course, plus the over-the-top gay best friend, the porn star sister-in-law and their friend/therapist who has had three marriages and is currently being stalked by a deranged Scotsman. Add to that a lesbian couple feuding over commitment issues, a hunky pizza delivery guy, a new-agey woman trying to get pregnant, Alex's stoned younger brother who's obsessed with playing morbid tunes on his guitar, an incompetent cake-delivery woman, a crew of firemen, a gorgeous bisexual stripper, a naive-but-adventurous younger cousin (who looks a lot like a young Julia Sawalha) and April's Catholic mother.
Despite the plethora of characters, amazingly none get left by the wayside. All have their brief shining moments, and while we might not get to know all the intimate details about them, practically all manage to transcend their stereotypes in some way or another before the end.
At the centre of the story however are Alex and April. Alex cynically believes that April has only asked her to be the maid of honour because she has a nice house and can cook. As the movie progresses we realise that yes, April would be that shallow, but it is more likely that in some way April wanted Alex to be a part of the wedding because of her inability to let go of their shared past.
Alex seems unnecessarily neurotic about the whole affair and it doesn't take long before she's unable to keep her secret any longer. In an alcohol fueled confession, Alex blurts out that she and April had a five year love affair that ended badly because April decided that she couldn't deal with being gay and wanted to live a "normal" life.
The revelation shocks everyone, except Alex's brother and her therapist friend who already knew. Each one of the characters begins to deal with the news in their own hilarious way. Freed from the secret at last, April and Alex explore what's left of their tangled relationship. The brief flashback sex scenes are surprisingly hot, as are the kisses exchanged between not only Alex and April but other members of the cast (I'm not saying who!).
April's Shower picks up a heady momentum midway through the second reel that kicks on right to the last frame. Not a single second is wasted, the direction is tighter than one would expect on such a low budget feature and the pure silliness of it all is offset by the genuine affection we can't help feeling for most of this wacky bunch.
Straight women fall into the arms of lesbians, lesbians fall into the arms of men, someone does eventually reveal they're pregnant and others will get married, but not the ones we think. It is totally loony, but the messages are uplifting.
It's nothing complicated really, just nice concepts of "love is where you least expect it", and "you never know what you have until it's gone", and most importantly, "accept who you are." I have to say, it was a nice change to leave the cinema with a grin on my face. I guess lesbians are not all angst-ridden and suicidal after all. We have a sense of humour! Who knew?