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 tantalising resemblance
to Law & Order: SVU babe 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 butch/femme lesbian couple feuding over
commitment issues, a hunky Italian pizza delivery guy, a new-agey
woman trying desperately 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 Julia Sawalha
during her Press Gang days) and April's Catholic
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?
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