I actually did not hate this film…. I didn’t love it, but I did enjoy it at such a mundane level of awareness that I was able to watch the entire thing without my innards revolting. The film’s message is a bit obtuse, though I’ve seen worse messages produced more insultingly. Most of the time I was questioning the writer’s understanding of the world, because it is quite different than what seems to be a realistic one. If you’re able to dispel your disbelief for an hour and a half your conscious might just make it through this movie unscathed. “Barefoot” is like a shitty oven bake pizza from a cheap grocery market. It was put together with crappy ingredients, cooks awkwardly, and ultimately tastes like cardboard; but it’s pizza and you enjoy it all the same.
Scott Speedman is cliche and his abandon of depth provides an adequate base for the film’s… what’s the opposite of multifaceted? If you needed a perfect pairing for such an uninspired dish, one would be spot on when casting Evan Rachel Wood to play the supporting actress. The DVD cover says something about her being one of the greatest actresses of our time, but I’m sure that has something to do with the space time continuum or a contextually based lie.
That is why I was stunned to see Treat Williams and JK Simmons, who actually play decently in favor of the film. Of course they’re not acting any differently than they do in anything else, but in this film that’s a great thing. They add a sense of professionalism to the sauce, which basically holds the film together.
There’s not much to say about the plot. The film feels as though it was written by a computer that had been fed some buzz words and sent a’typin’. If that truly is the case then I am stunned at how incredibly well the computer can at least try to mimic the ability to understand human emotional depth. If not… then… oh.
It might just be the fact that I am a sucker for the occasional RomCom but I couldn’t help but get sucked into it. I felt dirty, and I didn’t want anyone to look at me for a while afterwards, but by the end I had realized that I was having a good time. The Rotton Tomatoes’ score doesn’t lie and I don’t necessarily disagree with it, but I would suggest a watch if you had absolutely nothing else you had to do with your life and it was less than three dollars.
Barefoot was directed by Andrew Fleming (Dick, The Craft) and written by Stephen Zotnowski who has only written this one film (is my theory correct?). Available now on DVD from Lionsgate.