Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Barefoot in the Park


Gene Saks

Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Charles Boyer, Mildred Natwick, James Stone and Paul E. Burns

6 and up

Paul Bratter (Redford) has just married Corrie (Fonda), who just loves having loads of fun. The couple rent an apartment on the fifth floor with a hole in the roof, and there is a light fall of snow. Corrie’s mother (Natwick) comes up to the fifth floor and meets the charming and exotic Velasco (Boyer). The four go to Velasco’s restaurant, where Paul and Corrie have a newlywed crisis.
Jane Fonda and Robert Redford
Why it’s good:
It centres around newlywed crisis and is a classic comedy. It is also a kids’ comedy and a play adaptation, where 80% of the film takes place in the apartment.

Neil Simon’s hilarious Broadway play is an ultimate hit, and in 1967 they turned it into this play.
1967 - that's not much of a genuine oldie, but my father watched it when he was young on TV and introduced it to me when I was nine.

Although it is new, it does not mean it is not classical. It is, and Saks’ direction is pitch-perfect. If there were a re-make today, the newspapers would not be piled on the floor; there would be no carriage ride to the hotel; and the telephone technician would be deleted from the scene.

Honest. Old films are like that. Comedy styles vary over the years. This is an under-rated classic.

Parent’s guide:
Some kissing scenes at various times, but by today’s standards, they are mild. Originally G-rated.

Natalie Wood was cast in the lead but turned it down after three pairings with Redford.

If you like this…:
More comedies based on plays: "You Can’t Take It with You" (1938), "The Odd Couple" (1968), "The Importance of Being Earnest" (1952), "Holiday" (1938) and the champ of all - "The Philadelphia Story" (1940).

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