Two things are bound to happen during a viewing of Barney's Version. First, be prepared to experience the Danny Gut. It's gonna happen, so embrace it. The feeling will subside. Second, and perhaps the longest-lasting reaction, is the introspective accounting you will undergo regarding your own life.
Have you taken the necessary risks in life to fulfill your dreams? Hurt people along the way? Have impulsive and brash behavior cost you dearly?
They did Barney.
As the title character, Paul Giamatti proves again why he is perhaps the best actor working today. He meets a lifetime of existential dilemmas head-on and raw, and refuses to live his life for other people. It costs him, but he sees the price worth paying in order to live in the moment. Barney is at once selfish and endearing, giving and hateful. He's complicated.
And he's real.
Barney's Version will entertain you. But more than that, it will make you think. Watching it was worth the Danny Gut.