April in Paris is an early-50s mistaken-identity musical slapstick comedy at its best. Directed by David Butler, the film stars mid-20th century entertainment icon Doris Day as Ethel Jackson, a showgirl who the U.S. State Department selects by mistake to represent her country at a French art festival. During the voyage to France, Ethel meets Sam Putnam (Ray Bolger), a State Department handler who realizes the government invited the wrong girl. Looking to make lemonade out of lemons, Sam is then tasked by his superiors with making the chronically crass Ethel presentable to Parisian high society. Ethel's crash course in culture drives the second act of the movie, and leads to energentic, over-the-top sight-gags, culminating in an extended party/musical number onboard the cruise ship. True to the genre's roots, the film is rife with romantic subplots. Characters fall in and out of love, setting in motion a cavalcade of "forbidden romance" scenarios complete with hidden nuptials jilted ex-lovers.