Virtually the first third of The April Fools takes place at a trendy party held by sharkish executive Ted Gunther (Peter Lawford). It is here that Howard Brubaker (Jack Lemmon), one of Gunther's employees, makes the acquaintance of the boss' lovely young trophy wife Catherine (Catherine Deneuve). It happens that Brubaker is unhappily wed to Phyllis (Sally Kellerman, who gives an excellent performance in an essentially one-note role) and that Catherine is equally unhappy in her relationship with Gunther. The two lost souls run off together, planning to fly to Paris. There's approximately 25 minutes' worth of plot in The April Fools; much of the leftover time is eaten up by a protracted drunken-driving sequence involving suburban hubbies Lemmon, Jack Weston, Harvey Korman and Kenneth Mars, and by a lengthy episode featuring Charles Boyer and Myrna Loy as a robust, free-thinking elderly married couple. Some good dialogue, notably Lemmon's shaggy-dog story about goldfish and Chinese food, cannot hide the slightness of the piece. Still, a great many filmgoers were charmed by The April Fools.
by Hal Erickson synopsis