Sunday, September 12, 2010

THE APRIL FOOLS (1969)

Jack Lemmon is completely out of place at a swank artsy party thrown by his boss. His boss is a smooth, ladies' man and Lemmon is stuck in a dead end marriage where his wife doesn't even listen to anything he says. He wanders aimlessly around the party trying (and failing miserably) to fit in. Unknown to him there is a beautiful woman, Catherine Deneuve, watching him and amusing herself with his many failures. Finally, still not knowing she has been watching him, Lemmon taps Deneuve on the shoulder and asks to get her a drink, she smiles and replies "Fine. I'll get my things."

They go to a private club that his boss recommends and it's a wild scene! Lemmon tries to act smooth, but soon lets the facade down and admits that he doesn't know what he's doing and is married. She (already secretly falling for him) admits that she's married too. They leave and, in my favorite scene of the movie, she takes him to a crazy discotheque and forces him to dance. It's hilarious. I've already told you too much, but this is a really sweet movie.  I liked this film a lot. My only complaint  is that the first half is so perfect, the second half just can't top it. Which leaves the film overall with an odd, uneven feel to it.

The performances by Lemmon and Deneuve are both excellent, but the supporting cast is great also: Myrna Loy, Charles Boyer, Harvey Korman, Peter Lawford and Jack Weston . Also I loved hearing Catherine in English(!), she has the most wonderful pronunciation of words. If you can find a copy of it, I highly recommend it. Sometimes it's nice just to watch a movie that makes you smile.
That sure does look like the bowling alley from THERE WILL BE BLOOD.