Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Barefoot in the Park (1967)
PG

Robert Redford puts on his best poker face as a straight-laced lawyer who marries the fun-seeking sex kitten Jane Fonda. It's hardly a strong plot for a movie, but Neil Simon inserts just enough sparkling dialogue into this adaptation of his Broadway hit, to keep boredom from ruining this kooky film.

We enter the lives of this winsome couple, just as they are about to embark on their honeymoon marathon run of mutual appreciation. Six days later and they emerge back into the world. Redford has to go to work, but Fonda would rather he didn't as she's reluctant for the fantasy to end. Redford insists that he really must go to work and Fonda purrs with naughty alternatives. It's a pattern that is repeated into forming the flimsy backbone for the movie. He's sensible and she just wants fun. Inevitably, they reach the point where they both begin to irritate one another.

They argue, and pretty soon we're all wistful for the screamingly funny highlights that had preceded their spat. It's the moment when you realise just how much delicious fun Fonda and Redford extract out of Simon's achingly witty script.

Key to the silliness is their awkward apartment located at the top of five flights of stairs. Many laughs are derived from this mighty climb, and it provides relief from the fact that most of the movie takes place in one room. It's a limited setting that occasionally threatens to kill the film dead. Thankfully the characters within this particular confined space are just too charming and entertaining to let that cramp their style.

End Credits

Director: Gene Saks

Writer: Neil Simon

Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Charles Boyer, Mildred Natwick

Genre: Comedy

Length: 105 minutes

Cinema: 1967

Country: USA

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