TBTo the Screen

"Barney’s Version" (2010)

Rome will always be home. Unless you marry a woman because you think you knocked her up and find out you didn’t and you just go back home to Montreal. That is what happens to Barney, a man who marries two other women and had a complicated relationship with each of them. Barney is not accomplished, only producing a very sad low budget TV show where the leading lady is only famous in her home country, Bulgaria.

Paul Giamatti was wonderful in the title role. His harsh voice was unique as he balanced the psychological breakdowns with moments of humor. Dustin Hoffman was delightful as Izzy, Barney’s father. Rachel Lefevre, Minnie Driver and Rosamund Pike play Barney’s first, second and third wife respectively. They each played neglected and conflicted women in various stages of their life. Rachel and Minnie added pinches of humor to their character. Scott Speedman played Bernard, Barney’s alcoholic best friend. Bernard’s carefree demeanor is nicely bumped against Barney’s paranoia and lack of grip on life.

The story could appear overemotional but it is a look at Barney’s life and his out of touch approach to love that he treats as an infatuation instead of feelings for someone.