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'April's Shower'

Brokeback Mountain may or may not be gay enough, but next to the middlebrow blandness of April's Shower, it's the pinnacle of audacity. This tepid lesbian comedy is named for a bridal shower, where either the host (writer-director Trish Doolan) secretly loves the bride-to-be (Maria Cina), the bride herself is closeted, or both. In keeping with the dinner theater dramatics, the movie plants its two surprises at roughly 45-minute intervals. The guests have been allotted one trait each—cheerful, venal, pregnancy obsessed, Catholic—and are played off each other in a kind of screenwriting shorthand. (Counterbalance comes in the form of equally dimensionless males: the gay best friend, the gee-whiz fiancé, and that old standby, the crazed Scotsman.) Sitcom pizzicato underlines each comic development. Everyone's sexual preference proves more pliable than seems plausible for a single afternoon. Over the course of the party, two women come out, a third thinks aloud that she might be gay, and a lifetime lesbian inexplicably starts bussing with the pizza guy. A bisexual stripper shows up to sort out the confusion, proving a far better therapist than the flummoxed therapist character.

 
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