He has a wife. She has a husband. With so much in common, they just have to fall in love.
Stuart Rosenberg‘s THE APRIL FOOLS (1969) is a romantic comedy that stars Jack Lemmon and legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve. There is plenty of adventure–and skin–as the married lovers embark on a wild night in New York City. It is fun to watch the funny and creative comedies of cinema early years and in particular and compare. The April Fools (1969) has great situational humor and is a film that teeming with the times and charms of the 1960s.
Howard Brubaker (Lemmon) is an awkward middle-aged gentleman in a loveless marriage. Newly promoted to a high position in his boss Ted Gunther’s (Peter Lawford) company, he invites Howard to a corporate party in his penthouse, which turns out to be wild. Catherine Gunther (Deneuve) is the unhappy wife of Ted. Ted presents himself as a wild card and the scene at the party conjures up the image of the free-spirited 60s. Her husband openly flirts with any lovely woman who captures his attention. Howard and Catherine meet each other at the party and decide to leave to explore the town. They fall in love and choose to run away to her native Paris, but they must inform their spouses.
From the beginning “Fools” lure viewers in with humor. The party is not the only wild thing happening; Catherine and Howard meet some rather odd characters. The fortune teller Grace Greenlaw (Myrna Loy) and her eccentric husband Andre (Charles Boyer) offers the new couple some relationship advice; and “love birds” also end up with some locals demonstrating risque behaviors that are shocking even by today’s standards. Watch as Howard struggles to keep up with the younger generation during club dancing. Watch as he endures a lengthy fencing battle with Andre throughout the Greenlaw couple’s giant mansion. These are only two of the many great watchful moments in the film.
Deneuve’s character exudes an elegant charm complete with her beautiful French accent. She is an acting compliment to Howard and adds excitement to his otherwise mediocre life. The ending for a film of this nature is very predictable, but the way it unfolds is so rewarding and magical, and the viewer is happy for both parties involved.
The April Fools is a timeless classic.
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