Barefoot In The Park (Gene Saks, 1967): USA

Reviewed by Ish Malik at AFI Film Festival 2017, Los Angeles.

Barefoot in the Park is a classic american rom-com from the 60’s. Its a very delightful film made by Gene Saks. In my opinion, Gene Saks does an amazing job portraying a young new couple and their everyday struggles in a very comedic manner. The characters in Barefoot in the Park is what makes the film extremely interesting. Paul and Corri played by Jane and Robert respectively have very bold personalities and in many ways they are very different from one another, but that only ends up complimenting their relationship. Paul tends to play safe when it comes to life decisions while Corrie is an adventurous bird who wants to touch the sky, but only with Paul by her side. Paul’s and Corri’s differences cause them to have marital problems which they feel like they can’t cope from. Its a hysterical, overdramatized piece and they start to have these issues a week in their marriage. By the end of the movie, Corri sees Paul really drunk and realizes how important his natural character is to her. The movie’s cliche ending includes them getting back together after realizing each other’s worth.

In addition to that, I strongly believe that the cast is what made this movie so delightful. Jane Fonda and Robert Redford were perfect for this role as they are both very experienced in comedy and easy going drama. But what I specifically loved in this movie is the role of Corri’s mother and their upstairs neighbor. This is a very unique relationship. Corri’s mother, played by Mildred Natwick, won an academy award for her extremely skillful acting in Barefoot in the Park. In the movie, she is an upperclass woman who is alone and she displays special signs in her personality that Corri thinks is due to lack of a man-lover in her life. Corri decides to introduce her mother to the absolutely insane neighbor that lives upstairs (on the roof). Charles Boyer, who plays Victor in the movie is an adventure driven, live-only-in-the-moment kind of a guy. Without ruining too much, I’d like to mention that just like Paul and Corri, Victor and Ethel hit it off as well.

The casting of the movie is what makes it insanely realistic, comical and just very light-hearted. Its an age appropriate movie that everyone will definitely enjoy. So if you are having a bad day, just put Barefoot in the Park on, eat some popcorn, sit back and relax.

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