April In Paris (1952)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 1952Warner Bros..  Story and Screenplay by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

A minor American statesman () preparing a US/France-produced cultural festival in Paris accidentally mixes up his memos, sending Ethel Barrymore a work permit for Canada and an unknown chorus girl named Ethel “Dynamite” Jackson (Doris Day) an invitation to represent the nation in the City Of Lights. He apologizes to the young woman for the error, inspiring her anger, but somehow the news hits the media and when he is touted as a genius and true-blue American for choosing an unknown to be the country’s face in a foreign land, he begs her to put aside her frustration and come to Paris anyway.

This minor entertainment is a typical romantic comedy of its period with all the regular ingredients, including the complicating mix-ups (a bogus marriage in this case), exotic scenery (including a cruise ship) and plenty of singing and dancing, but what makes it the slightest bit worth watching (and for the most part it isn’t) are two things: Day’s ineffable charm and Bolger’s dancing. The two of them have zippo chemistry between them (I don’t know why Hollywood constantly insisted on having women marry their fathers in these movies), and their falling in love seems to be a joke even to them, but they’re both so talented that it’s hard to tear your eyes away.

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