“The April Fools” (1969)
“The April Fools” asks the audience to believe in an instantaneous romantic attraction intense enough to make a two people discard everything in their lives, all the while mocking the ruinous relationship choices people make. The contradictions prominent in Hal Dresner’s screenplay are not lost on director Stuart Rosenberg who seems rather desperate at times to send his penchant for visual gimmickry into overdrive in an attempt to masquerade the surprising shallowness of both the central romance and the loveless circumstances which make such agreeable case of dual infidelity so attractive.
Married investment executive Howard Brubaker (Jack Lemmon) celebrates his new promotion by attending a party at the apartment of his boss, Ted Gunther (Peter Lawford), who despite being married to the lovely Catherine (Catherine Deneuve) openly acts the lascivious playboy with his female guests. At Ted’s prodding, Howard inadvertently invites one of the guests to a drink, an invitation she unhesitatingly accepts, with Howard unaware that the young woman is actually Ted’s wife Catherine. They quietly leave the party and in the process of getting to know each other discover that they have much in common, including a mutual dissatisfaction with their respective marriages. In the process of the evening, what begins as a friendly attraction blossoms into love.
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