I finally watched Barefoot in the Park starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. Based on Neil Simon‘s play, the movie is about a girl –hereafter referred to as “The Kook”– who marries a kind of serious lawyer and then regrets it because he’s so solemn and she’s such a free spirit. OK? The Kook is really hyperventilating in every scene, being all over Redford every second, jumping and running, being friendly with everyone, going out with strangers, renting the smallest apartment ever and setting blind dates for her mom with an eccentric neighbor who she just met–don”t worry, he’s Charles Boyer. To sum up, she’s on the ball for 106 minutes (we have the same idiom in Chile, “estar arriba de la pelota“).
Jane Fonda is perfect as the Kook. She looks great and through her acting makes her character really believable, oozing energy from the beginning to the end. She steals the movie. The only problem is that her relationship with Redford’s character is not really believable. I mean, even if you’re a kook you must notice that your poor partner is not — and that he doesn’t like to walk barefoot in the park or have a big hole in the ceiling when it is snowing. So why does she dramatically react to his serious way to looking to life midway through the film? And Redford, the serious lawyer, just noticed that he married Holly Golightly 2.0.? Huh?
Anyway, these slight nitpicks aside, there are some really entertaining scenes and some very funny little characters. (The best example of which is the man from the telephone company). Because it was filmed in the 1960s, you can expect a lot of sexy lines and double entendres (when you are used to watch really old movies, the absence of the stiff censorship kind of shocks you). Also, it’s fun to watch Charles Boyer solidly playing the Albanian neighbor, and the “Shama, Shama” song is so catchy that you will hear in your head for days and days…
Here’s a look at the film:
To sum up, Barefoot in the Park is a light, very-1960s comedy to watch when you don’t want to think very much.
Hailing from Chile, Clara Fercovic is a 23-year-old journalism major whose favorite directors include Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. For more information, visit Via Margutta 51.