so I just watched "Barefoot in the Park" and I'm really confused

I’m aware that it’s a popular film and is apparently a popular play, but I’m just really confused after watching the 1967 Robert Redford/Jane Fonda film.

The main thing that I don’t get is why Corie, Fonda’s character, acts completely mentally unbalanced for the entirety of the film - screaming every line regardless of context, overreacting and going into full histrionics when presented with any stimulus, demanding a divorce and going into a hysterical fit seemingly out of nowhere.

Is there some subtext to the film that I’m missing? Is it supposed to be an updated “Jane Eyre” or something?

Nope. It’s just a rather silly, minor comedy being overacted by a performer who had the comic delicacy of Mickey Rooney on crack.

You’ve never seen Jane Fonda trying to act before?

I always just assumed Corie’s mother and Aunt Flo were visiting at the same time.

That’s kind of the whole point of the film. That a straight-laced, uptight lawyer is shacking up with an overly-emotional, dramatic housewife. Conflict is comedy, and all that… They’re supposed to be–dare I say it–an odd couple.

Ever seen any of Neil Simon’s other plays from the same period? The neurotic and silly female seems to be a recurring theme. It’s been a long time since I was into his stuff, but I stopped finding it funny when the characters got old.

It was the Dharma and Greg of its day, except in this case, the Dharma/Corie character isn’t the hero, and Corie’s parents weren’t hippies. Corie is supposed to be young and a free-spirit who finds that the great guy she married takes life a bit more seriously than he did when they were dating, and even though he rocks in the bedroom (refer to opening scenes of the seven days not leaving the hotel room) once they get back into the routine of married life, he wants things to be comfortable and secure, not artsy and inconvenient. He wants to come home to an apartment with a working phone and no snow in the bedroom. She is caught up in the adventure of being young and an adult in the city, and he’s slaving away all day and just wants to relax with his wife. She fears she has made a mistake in her choice of husband, and wants him to recapture the free spirit he was when they went walkig Barefoot in the Park. He finally decides that he loves her enough to change, and she loves him enough to chang, and life begins. And they are not shacking up…they got married! The problem I have in watching these old movies is placing correct ages on the characters…everyone dresses so old and grown up, and it’s hard to know what age tey are supposed to be. But I figured they were both just out of college.

I know they were married… I was just using an expression. :slight_smile:

I have. Every movie she ever made, with the exception of “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” was an attempt.

Ok, maybe “Klute,” also.

“Barbarella” wasn’t too bad, either, if you were high on something or just appreciated good nipples.

… ???

Looks like I am shitting in my own nest here. Never mind!

Neil Simon movies follow the comedy dictum of “Write Jewish, cast gentile.” Thus we have the oddity of Robert Redford singing “Hava Nagilah” in his drunk scene.