April in Paris

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Until the other day, I had not seen April in Paris for many, many years.  I wanted to watch it again because it stars one of my all time favorite performers, Doris Day.  She is such a wonderful actress and singer, and I adore her outlook and caring for animals.  That said, I realized when watching it again that there was a reason why this is not a movie I seek out all that much.  I just do not like it as much as do many of her other films.

Day’s character is Ethel S. ‘Dynamite’ Jackson, and quite by accident, she is invited to represent the United States at an international arts festival in France.  Considering that Ethel is chorus girl, the invitation is quite a surprise.

The person responsible for sending the invitation by mistake is S. ‘Sam’ Winthrop Putnam, as played by Ray Bolger.  To me, Bolger is the problem with the movie.  He is a great talent, but I honestly did not care for him or even this character.  He was too silly and spineless, and I did not care about the character, either.

This also makes the romance between Day and Bolger a big blah for me.  I not only did not buy the love affair, but the story felt forced.  It just did not work in my view.  It is not that these two characters fell in love in two seconds, but it is what happens after that.  Their supposed wedding night scene on the ship was too ridiculous for my blood. Later, in France, the whole bit with the flirtatious Frenchmen also seemed odd and was difficult to get into.

Now I did enjoy the musical production numbers, both by Day and Bolger individually and together.  Directed by David Butler, the film featured a number of musical interludes, both solo and ensemble pieces  The songs were well done, many upbeat and fun, and they were enjoyable to watch.

Also in the picture were Claude Dauphin, who was adequate in the Frenchmen role, and Paul Harvey as one of the statesman.

For me, April in Paris pales somewhat.


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