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Theatre / Barefoot in the Park

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A popular Romantic Comedy by Neil Simon, which premiered on Broadway in 1963.

Newlyweds Corie and Paul Bratter return from their honeymoon ready to start their exciting new life together in a minuscule fifth-floor walkup apartment in a Greenwich Village brownstone, but things aren't exactly going as planned. The impulsive Corie's apartment choice doesn't meet Paul's — or any sane person's — standards. Six exhausting flights of stairs lead to a one-room apartment which lacks bathtub, furniture, heat, and room for a double bed. What highlights does the apartment supply? Eccentric neighbors, including the attic-dwelling Victor Velasco, and a giant hole in the skylight. Still, Corie is determined to make things work, even playing matchmaker between Velasco and her widowed mother, Ethel Banks.

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Mike Nichols directed the original Broadway production, which starred Robert Redford as Paul, Elizabeth Ashley as Corie, Mildred Natwick as Ethel, and Kurt Kasznar as Velasco. A feature film adaptation, directed by Gene Saks, was released in 1967; Redford and Natwick reprised their stage roles, with Jane Fonda appearing as Corie and Charles Boyer as Velasco. The play has also received two TV adaptations: a short-lived ABC sitcom in 1970 and a 1980 special on HBO.


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Tropes:

  • The Alleged House: There are multiple quirks in the apartment, one which sees a lot of use for laughs (and drama) being that it doesn't has a good insulation, which allows the New York winter cold to seep in. It's also five floors up in a building with no elevator and almost everybody that arrives is winded.
  • Alliterative Name: Victor Velasco the landlord.
  • Beta Couple: Victor Velasco and Corie's mom, Ethel, get a romance Arc of their own while everything else is happening.
  • Call-Back: To the Title Drop and Paul's observation that Corie likes to go barefoot in the park. Towards the end Corie finds a very drunk Paul in Central Park. Paul, who has in fact lost his shoes, walks away and laughs that now he's going barefoot in the park.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Paul and Mr Velasco. The former more deadpan and latter definetly more snarky.
  • Exiled to the Couch: When Corie is on the verge of divorcing Paul, she shuts herself in the bedroom and throws out a pillow, blanket, and sheet so Paul can go to sleep on the sofa. He tries to...and then snow starts falling on his head through the broken skylight, leaving him with a cold the next day.
  • Funny Foreigner: Victor Velasco. He plays vaguely Asian music on his stereo, he lives in an attic, he cooks his guests a weird dish made out of eels...
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: In the film, Paul and Corie don't leave their honeymoon suite for days.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Corie. Explored both for laughs and for drama — sure, Uptight Loves Wild, but once Paul reaches his limit of how much he can tolerate of said manic attitude, hurt ensues.
  • Non-Specifically Foreign: Velasco. Most tellingly, he takes great pride in his knichi, an exotic dish of unknown origin and one that is non-existent in real life. He was also portrayed by an Austrian and a Frenchman in the original Broadway production and film adaptation, respectively.
  • Romantic Comedy: A romantic comedy about an Uptight Loves Wild couple that apparently married impulsively, then have to get used to living life together.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Paul is a straight-laced attorney, Corie a far more spontaneous free spirit.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Corie is shown wearing Paul's shirt after he leaves their honeymoon suite for the first time. The scene currently provides the trope's page image.
  • Title Drop: Corie and Paul have a fight where she says they have nothing in common, and he says "Why? Because I won't go barefoot in the park?"
  • Toilet Seat Divorce: Paul and Corie have a blow-up after the uncomfortable evening out with Victor Velasco and Corie's mom, which starts with them arguing about his fuddy-duddy ways and her rather extreme Manic Pixie Dream Girl ways, which eventually blows up into Corie demanding a divorce.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Deliberately engineered by Corie, when she apparently reaches for her husband's crotch in a crowded elevator. He chortles and says "Stop it!"
  • Uptight Loves Wild: The relationship of Paul and Corie, in a nutshell. Played for drama eventually, though, with Paul starting to doubt he actually loves Corie's wildness that much.

Alternative Title(s): Barefoot In The Park

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