Saturday, February 19, 2011

Barney's Version

This morning I saw Barney's Version, starring Paul Giamatti and Rosamund Pike.

I'll swear when I watched the trailer of this it was being marketed as a comedy. Once I was about 30 minutes into the film, I realized I must have been mistaken.

Barney (Giamatti) is a sad sack of a man who has a habit of marrying the wrong women. His first wife is a hippie artist who we never quite understand his connection with; his second wife, played by a spirited Minnie Driver, is a rich brat with beautiful breasts who wins him over with her cleavage.

It's no surprise that by their wedding day, Barney is already looking elsewhere. Unfortunately, it's on his wedding day when he spots "The One."

Miriam (Pike) is a guest on his new bride's side, and catches his attention by simply looking stunning in her bright blue dress. After one conversation with the beauty, Barney knows he's made a huge mistake marrying his second wife. He begins courting Miriam right then and there, never giving up his pursuit for true love.

Of course, like many neurotic Jewish characters, Barney is his own worst enemy. Once he gets what he wants in any given situation, he carelessly discards it in favor of behaving like a bachelor.

And then his kids begin hating him, and we begin hating him, and the story takes an even darker turn with his health problems.

All of the acting in this film is great—no argument there—but the way Barney's character is written, I had trouble feeling any empathy for him.

Why would anyone want to spend time with this unattractive, uninteresting man, let alone build a life with him?

I only wish I hadn't wasted two hours trying to figure that out.


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