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I'll Remeber April




Where to Buy the video I'll Remember April





Editorial Reviews
Although the horrors of WWII are far removed from the Pacific Coast community where
adolescent Duke Cooper (Trevor Morgan) and his three best chums play soldier,
experiment with swearing, and earnestly patrol the beach for Japanese submarines, the
realities of the war are about to come crashing down around them. Not when a Japanese
soldier, stranded and wounded when his sub quickly dived, washes ashore; his capture by
the foursome merely allows for more playtime and thoughts of becoming heroes. It's
coming because Duke's older brother is on some island awaiting combat and the black
sedans with military tags have already begun rolling through town to deliver their grim
announcements. And Duke's Japanese American pal Willie Tanaka (Yuki Tokuhiro), all three
feet and 55 pounds of him, has suddenly become a threat to national security, so he, his
mother, and grandfather are soon to be shipped away to an internment camp. For a
children's film, these are strong, potent themes to discuss; unfortunately any kid will be
put off by I'll Remember April's obviousness and condescending tone in a heartbeat. The
script by Mark Sanderson assumes its audience needs every point spelled out twice: Duke
and his friends (among them Haley Joel Osment, top-billed on the video box despite a
smallish role) have the strange habit of repeating ad infinitum their conclusions about the
unfairness of it all. Composer Paul Zaza apparently finds that insufficient, since his score
hammers home each preprogrammed emotion without mercy. Director Bob Clark has made
wonderful movies (A Christmas Story, Murder by Decree) and awful ones (Porky's,
Rhinestone); this one falls somewhere in between, sincere and blessed with a clutch of
good child actors, but crassly manipulative and too intent on educating its audience to
realize it is talking down to them instead. --Bruce Reid