Featured DVD Review: Barefoot
April 20th, 2014
Barefoot is an English-language remake of Barfuss a German film. The film earned mixed reviews (both reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are positive, but the critics are not overly enthusiastic with their praise calling it a lightweight and predictable movie). Despite this, it was a hit in its native market earning just over $12 million on a $6.5 million production budget. Barefoot wasn't able to live up to its predecessor at the box office, but is it worth checking out on the home market?
We first meet Jay waking up with a woman, whom he almost immediately breaks a promise with. He then learns during a blackout episode the night before that he was banned from his favorite strip club, so it's off to the track to lose some money on the horses. There he is accosted by the lone shark he owns $37,000 to, before getting into a fight and being arrested, again. Needing money, desperately, and with very few places to turn, he decides to turn to his estranged family. He lies about having a better job that he does claiming to be an administrator at a the psychiatric ward and not just a janitor, while he also claims to have a stable girlfriend who is a nurse there. His father says he should bring his girlfriend to the wedding, so now Jay is really in a bind.
The next day, Jay tries to convince one of the nurses to go, but she shoots him down. Then he gets in trouble with his boss for giving some of the patients alcohol and pornography. Meanwhile, there's a new patient coming into the hospital, Daisy Kensington. Her mother recently passed away and she hasn't be able to handle her loss well. That night, one of the other janitors tries to molest her, but Jay punches him out. He knows this could very well land him in jail, so he takes off. However, Daisy takes off with him.
At first, Jay tries to ditch Daisy, but then after striking out again trying to find a date for his wedding, he has a bout of inspiration and takes Daisy. After a bit of a bumpy plane trip, they arrive at Jay's parents' place. But how long can this charade last?
Critics who reviewed Barfuss called it lightweight and predictable, but I wonder what they would have thought of this movie? There's not a lot of dramatic heft in this movie, and what there is, comes from a creepy place. Daisy is first presented as an incredibly child-like woman who is suffering from schizophrenia and may have killed her mother. We are presented with this woman in a way that is sympathetic and thanks to Evan Rachel Wood's performance, we do care what happens to her. (Although the script is working against her much of the time.) However, she is not presented in a way that would make you feel comfortable with her becoming Jay's girlfriend. She's just not emotionally mature enough to be in a healthy relationship with anyone, and Jay would be near the bottom of the list of men she should wind up with.
This brings us to the predictable portion of the movie. We have seen far, far too many movies where we witness a scoundrel become a prince, metaphorically speaking, and Barefoot does nothing new with the genre. Likewise, we've seen many movies that portrayed people who are simple-minded, but are seen as geniuses by those around them (King of Hearts and Being There, to name a two). Combined these two plots with the typical Romantic Comedy clichés and there very little in this movie that is fresh and even a little original.
There are no extras on the DVD.
Barefoot has a Tomatometer Score of just 11% positive. That's lower that I think it should be, but it is not a good movie. There are no extras on the DVD, so even if you are interested in the movie, a rental will be enough.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Filed under: Video Review, Barefoot