"The April Fools", directed by Stuart Rosenberg in 1969, is a romantic comedy with a nuanced story about finding happiness and a second chance in love, where you least expect it.
The film stars Hollywood heavyweights Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve. Lemmon plays Howard Brubaker, a Wall Street broker trapped in an unsatisfying marriage. When he meets Catherine (Catherine Deneuve), the gorgeous wife of his eccentric boss, they immediately connect, leading them to question their current life choices and explore what happiness truly means.
The performances by Lemmon and Deneuve are delightful, with Lemmon's everyman charm and Deneuve's ethereal beauty contributing to a wonderful on-screen chemistry. The stellar supporting cast, including Myrna Loy and Charles Boyer, adds further depth and complexity to the film.
Rosenberg's direction excellently balances the humorous and dramatic elements of the script, resulting in a narrative that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. He delivers a rich character study wrapped in a romantic comedy, providing a fresh perspective on the genre.
The cinematography by Michel Hugo lends an understated elegance to the film. The framing and lighting of scenes add to the overall tone of the story, further enhancing the film's visual storytelling. The film is notably set in New York City, and the use of the city as a backdrop adds another layer of charm to the film.
Marvin Hamlisch's score provides a pleasant underscore to the film's narrative, enhancing the emotional beats without overshadowing them. His composition for the title song, performed by Dionne Warwick, is particularly memorable.
"The April Fools" does have its shortcomings, the pacing feels uneven at times, and some plot elements are predictable. The film also tends to overuse certain comedy tropes which date the film somewhat.
Nevertheless, "The April Fools" is a heartwarming film that explores themes of love, marriage, and personal happiness. Its earnest performances and warm humor provide a satisfying watch for fans of classic cinema and romantic comedies.