Saturday, September 27, 2014

1967 - BAREFOOT IN THE PART, Neil Simon's hit play is an irritating film.

Neil Simon was always a fairly tough customer when it came to his plays.  He insisted they follow his scripts to the letter.  That is why Barefoot in the Park has a real claustrophobic feeling to it.  Simon opened it up a little bit so they could shoot on location, but those scenes are basically filler for the main plot.

The film is about a couple of newlyweds adjusting to married life.  They live in a 6th floor walk up studio apartment ($76.00 a month).  She's a free spirit, he's a buttoned down attorney just starting his career.  New York is a fun city in this film, it has lots of colorful characters for the couple to interact with.  The crisis in their marriage comes when Corrie played by Jane Fonda decides her husband played by Robert Redford is a big dud and does want to have her kind of fun. After about 6 days of marriage she wants a divorce!

I suppose a good actor could pull off this space case of a female character, but Jane Fonda isn't it.  Towards the middle of the film I started to suspect that Fonda had some serious mental problems with her obsessive fixation on her husband.  This stay at home housewife needs a job.

Still for a Neil Simon film there are some funny situations and the dialog is kind of clever.  But Jane Fonda really sinks this thing.

106 minutes

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