Neil Simon’s sometimes hilarious Broadway play about a newlywed couple coping with life in New York City holds up nicely on the big screen with plenty of one-liners intact.
Conservative young lawyer Paul Bratter (Robert Redford) and his new bride Corie (Jane Fonda) are the charming couple who reside in a small and spartan fifth-floor walk-up apartment in Greenwich Village – with a hole in the skylight and various plumbing and heating problems.
Corie, who chose the apartment, begins to knock it into shape while Paul is busy with work. She is helped by their eccentric new neighbour Victor Velasco (Charles Boyer) who lives in the attic of the building and has to climb through the Bratter’s window to get to his room.
Corie decides to try and set the mature Don Juan Victor up with her mother Ethel (Mildred Natwick) and the four of them all go to an Albanian restaurant where Corie and Victor end up dancing with a bellydancer while Paul and Ethel look on bemused.
The evening makes Corie notice her husband’s inhibitions and the personality clashes between this very different couple begin to put strains on their relationship. The free-spirited Corie is beginning to think her husband is a stuffed-shirt square who is no fun – her prize piece of evidence is the fact he would not go “barefoot in the park” with her one night because he thought it was too cold.
The film inspired a 12 episode TV sitcom series of the same name with an all African-American cast which was broadcast during the 1970-71 season.