Starring: Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Charles Boyer
Director: Gene Saks
Running Time: 106 mins
Barefoot In The Park is an American film about a newlywed couple who move into a New York apartment on the top floor, whose eccentric qualities pushes their relationship to the edge.
A sweet, light-hearted and colourful romp that’s full of charisma, it’s difficult not to love Barefoot In The Park. Featuring a hilarious lead duo in Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, the film is full of laughs and fluffy romantic drama, making it the ideal movie to put a smile on your face.
Swinging with the effortless cool of New York City in the sixties, this is one of those movies that just oozes fun and charisma wherever you look. Though its story of a naive young couple facing the ups and downs of marriage hits some pretty cheesy beats, Barefoot In The Park is so much fun to watch, and its immense personality and cool is a big part of that.
Robert Redford is as charismatic as always, but he’s actually second in screen time and entertainment value to Jane Fonda, who is an absolute riot throughout. Playing a clingy, naive and almost ditzy new housewife, it could have been so easy for her to get on your nerves with her incessant chirpiness and optimism.
After all, the way that the film portrays the breakdown of their relationship sees most of it as a result of Fonda’s behaviour, but there’s something so wonderfully lovable about her performance that means you can’t stay mad at her character for long.
Sure, she’s irritating, but she’s full of pep and energy that brings so much fun to the movie. The film’s biggest laughs are always from Fonda, or at least the exasperated reactions she provokes in Redford, so it would be such a miss to not have her on deliriously annoying yet delightfully funny form.
Supporting stars Charles Boyer and Mildred Natwick are great fun too – particularly with Boyer’s ultra-eccentric turn as the mysterious man living above the newlyweds in the roof. Their inclusion makes the movie about more than just Redford and Fonda’s rollercoaster first weeks of marriage, keeping the laughs fresh through the movie.
In all truth, the film is lacking a little more story depth to keep it interesting throughout (the final act really hangs on the laughs to stay entertaining).
However, Barefoot In The Park isn’t quite the iconic sixties movie that Breakfast At Tiffany’s is, but it’s still immensely enjoyable with its delightful brand of humour and energetic, colourful fun. Bolstered by four excellent performances – with Jane Fonda outstandingly funny – the movie is an absolute joy to watch throughout, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.6 overall.