One of the struggles that can ruin a relationship is wondering, “What if?” Rather than focusing on what is right in front of you, wondering about what you can’t see, or what might happen if this or that happened. Sure, there are times in a relationship when you should not accept what the status quo, but if you think too much about “what ifs,” you risk losing what’s in front of you, and just might make you happiest.
Christopher Tedrick’s “April Flowers” follows a young woman as she stumbles through one moment. At the outset, we are clued in to her imaginative and romantic side by a narrator, as single April (Celina Jade) is traveling on the subway one day, and a journal falls out of a backpack. Before she is able to find the owner, the doors close. She takes it home, and begins to read it…and it’s like she has found someone who understands her. Romantic thoughts go through her head. She tries to find the owner, including posting on Craigslist, to no avail, but she does, in her quest, inquire as to ownership with a fellow subway rider, Jared (Jon Fletcher). Through a mistaken identity, however, buds a relationship. Still, the mystery of the journal lingers. Can she prevent the author, and her perceived ideas of him, from ruining what she has going in real life?
Overactive imaginations can dog a relationship. What is she up to when I’m not around? Can I mold him into my ideal mate? What if he doesn’t add up to what I want? What if I don’t add up? What type of person are they? This is the central struggle April deals with in Tedrick’s film, and it is quite an entertaining one to watch. (The Craigslist listing leads to a truly awkward moment, but a very funny one.) Jade is wonderful in the role of April, and we feel much sympathy with her as she goes on her quest, although there are times we feel very much a kinship with her best friend, Laura (Kate Middleton), when it comes to her infatuation with the owner of the journal. We can see how it’s having an effect on her relationship with Jared, and we care because Jared is a nice guy who cares about her and doesn’t deserve to be taken for granted. Two other strong impressions are made by “2001: A Space Odyssey’s” Keir Dullea as an old man who has placed rocks for people who mean something to him who have passed on, and Sean Cullen as Fr. Randy, who may have some answers as to the author’s intentions and worldview. Tedrick does a lovely job making a female-driven romantic comedy that is actually about more than formulaic “meet cutes” and predictable conclusions. This is about how people perceive love, both the love we have in our lives, and the one we don’t, and how it skews how we see the world.