30 July 2005 | Doghouse-6
Charming (If Uneven) Confection With a Cast That Doesn't Quit
Whatever praise - and criticism - has been directed at this film in other comments here is pretty much right on. But the elements considered by some as flaws need not necessarily be bothersome; they aren't to me. That all of the supporting characters are rather broadly drawn caricatures works, I think, because it leaves Lemmon and Deneuve, at the heart of the story, the only seemingly real people in it, one might say. Isn't that the way love is sometimes? Maybe everyone around you thinks you're nuts (hence the title?), but to the smitten couple, the exact opposite seems the case.
What we really have here is the late-60s equivalent of screwball romantic comedy. As such, it's full of colorful characters and unlikely situations, with a good dose of social satire thrown in - with marriage, in particular, under the microscope. We have high-powered executive Lawford and Deneuve, his neglected trophy wife; put-upon suburbanite Lemmon and Kellerman, his self-absorbed, psychobabble-spouting spouse; Weston trying to be the assertive "man of the house" with his bickering "Mimsy;" Loy and Boyer as the long-married and still very much in love eccentrics. But THE APRIL FOOLS isn't about marriage, of course; it's about love.
If you can find this picture, which is pretty hard to do as of this writing, it will reward with wonderful moments, delivered by a varied cast which pretty much represents the spectrum of players: the just-emerging Kellerman, Dillon and Mars; Lemmon, Lawford and Weston in their prime and old pros Boyer and Loy. Deneuve finds herself in an unfamiliar milieu here, but with her character that works in her favor. It's unexpected - and thoroughly amusing - when she suddenly lashes out at Mars: "Leesen, if you toush me agayne, I'll geev you a sock-in-the-eye!"
My favorite moment: Lemmon's awkward attempt to be suave and "come on" to a sexy blond at Lawford's swanky party. The payoff is priceless.