April's Shower Written and directed by Trish Doolan Regent/Here!, opens January 13, Quad
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 eachcheerful, venal, pregnancy obsessed, Catholicand 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.