Barney’s Version

Wednesday January 26th 2011


Barney Panofsky is an aging TV producer with three ex-wives. In Barney’s Version, we’re told the seemingly endless story of his life in flashbacks because a) it’s his version don’t you know and b) that’s what Forrest Gump did and that won awards right?

We begin in the seventies as a young Barney (read: Paul Giamatti with a wig on) sits with four friends in Rome. They all make art and do a lot of drugs because the past was full of art and drugs. One of them is even *a black man* but don’t worry, he’s only there to do fist pumps and have sex with Barney’s first wife.

The wife in question has a name but I can’t remember it because she isn’t in the movie for more than about ten minutes. But her dad is played by Daphne’s boyfriend Donny from Frasier so I’m not complaining.

Soon we leave Rome for the United States of America where Barney meets his second wife Minnie Driver from Conviction. He’s got a new wig by now so we know he’s a bit older than he was further back in the past. Their relationship is a bit rubbish because she nags him and doesn’t know about cigars, so he’s quite relieved when he catches her having sex with go-to handsome man Scott Speedman.

Wife number three is Rosamund Pike from Die Another Day. Their mutual attraction is harder to understand, what with her being really nice and him being constantly grumpy, fat and miserable. But don’t worry, because this movie is…

They have kids and live in a big house and occasionally he forgets where he parked his car but that’s definitely not a hint that he’ll develop a degenerative disease in the last act, so why worry?

Life isn’t without its problems for Barney: he’s been accused of murder by an antisemitic detective, and he suspects that his wife is having an affair with handsome neighbour man Blair, who’s a vegan because veganism is Hollywood shorthand for ‘cunt’.

Will love last for Barney and Rosamund? Is he really guilty of murder? Can the make-up department really put any more wigs on Paul Giamatti? All will be revealed when Barney’s Version hits cinemas this Friday.

Avoid it like the plague.