"Barney's Version" is based on a Mordecai Richler book of the same name. Read the book. Or maybe you dig movies about beautiful, smart women who hook up with flabby, foul-mouthed morons. Then rent "Knocked up," with Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen. And what if you're hankering for a film in which a guy falls for another woman shortly after he's hitched. Then check out "The Heartbreak Kid." The 1972 version.
Which leaves us with absolutely no reason to plunk down hard-earned cash on this loser of a movie.
"Barney's Version" begins promisingly, with some funny, sort of smart scenes. Alas, it quickly zooms downhill faster than a runaway roller coaster. There's a mystery at the heart of the movie and even that can't sustain our interest.
Paul Giamatti plays the eminently unlikeable Barney, who's not only exceedingly unattractive on the outside, he's also downright ugly under his hairy skin. In the book, he's a more nuanced character, which explains why gorgeous gals fall for him, while some call it Richler's masterpiece. In this icky flick, any redeemable attributes are on the cutting room floor.
But don't feel sorry for Giamatti. Trailers are already out for his new film, "Win Win."