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The Independent Critic

Celina Jade, Jon Fletcher, Kate Middleton, Keir Dullea, Mia Dillon, Sean Cullen, and Wai Ching Ho
Christopher Tedrick
85 Mins.

 "April Flowers" the First Film from Myopia Pictures  

The word "quirky" is over-utilized in the world of cinema and not often very accurately, yet it's one of the words that kept coming to mind as I watched April Flowers, the debut feature release from Myopia Pictures, a production company started by the film's writer/director, Christopher Tedrick. 

I suppose the first thing you should know about me before we continue is that I find quirky to be endearing, at least when it's authentically so. So, it's reasonable and accurate to assume that I found April Flowers to be an endearing and genuine experience that made me smile throughout the film's nearly 90-minute running time. 

The April in question, marvelously portrayed by Celina Jade, who first presents as your ordinary everyday single New Yorker with romantic dreams and a cynical nature. One day while riding a commuter train, April eyes a journal that has fallen from the backpack of a passing stranger. The man, of course, is gone before April can appropriately react. In an effort to discover the journal's rightful owner, April begins to read its contents and with each passing word seems to feel more and more connected to this stranger she's never met. 

April Flowers is part rom-com and part mystery lite, though Tedrick does a wonderful job of seaming these seemingly disparate objectives together quite nicely. The film's more comical set-ups feel naturally developed rather than the usual manufactured drivel we often find in such films, though that's also partly because Tedrick infuses the entire film with a quiet sincerity that keeps the viewer invested throughout. 

It would be a shame to share these adventures as experiencing them is part of the fun of watching April Flowers, though it's fair to say that the film's real impact comes from the way that April's romantic mystery will inevitably butt heads with a promising reality that could leave her behind if she isn't paying attention. Kate Middleton, not that one, is an absolute delight as Laura, April's comical confidante whose comic timing brought to mind the wonderful Joan Cusack. Keir Dullea is here in a supporting role and will delight his fans, while Jon Fletcher is here as the real world alternative to April's fantasy. 

Eugene Koh's lensing is lively and energizing, while Sandy Yaklin's production infuses the film with a nice balance of that whole fantasy vs. reality theme. April Flowers isn't a perfect occasionally meanders when a little lingering would be nice and other times it doesn't quite snag maximum comic potential from Tedrick's humorous yet insightful dialogue. 

Star Celina Jade is an action vet who will likely be familiar to fans of the CW's Arrow where she has played Shado/Mei, roots that won't be a surprise for those who realize she's also the daughter of Roy Horan, an American kung fu star who worked alongside the likes of Bruce Lee and and Jackie Chan. While April Flowers isn't likely to make Jade a household name, it's proof positive that she's a multi-faceted actress who's ready to expand her cinematic horizons. I, for one, look forward to it.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic