Barefoot (Andrew Fleming, 2014) USA
Reviewed by Caroline Juul Mortensen at Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2014
This is probably one of my favorite films at Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2014. A romantic comedy that will touch you and make you walk out of the theater with a big smile on your lips.
The director Andrew Fleming also directed the 1996 thriller The Craft which appears to be one of my favorite movies and it is easy to tell that a lot has changed since then not only with the technology but also in his way of directing.
A handsome young but unlucky and irresponsible gambler (Scott Speedman) is trying to pay off his debt by working at a mental hospital as the custodian. He is the firstborn son of a really wealthy family but also the “black sheep” so when his brother’s wedding is coming up he desperately tries to find a date but also he wants to try to prove to his family that he finally is on the right track in his life – but is he really?
He saves a beautiful young patient, Daisy (Evan Rachel Wood) from an abusive doctor, she follows him out of the hospital and she turns out to be the answer of his prayers. Being socially awkward and shoeless he still brings her to the wedding and presents her to his family and friends as his girlfriend. She is not what she appears to be and the weekend does not end out as he imagined, but she awakens feelings in him that he has not experienced before.
They have some well-known actors in this movie like Scott Speedman and J. K. Simmons and they are doing a really good job, but I did not like Evan Rachel Wood in this movie. I liked her a lot in her role in “Thirteen” back in 2003 but it seems like she has lost the sparkle. She kept biting her lip, which distracted me terribly. It annoys me because I really like the story and the girl that Daisy could have been but the actress just ruined it for me.
As I said earlier I really like the story. It is sweet and innocent and there is a bunch of great lines and great humor. I think it has a good flow and a lot of different camera angles which makes it both more interesting but also more beautiful. There are a lot of strong colored and bright scenes, which matches the themes of the movie like innocence and love.
This is a great romantic comedy that tells us that things are not always as they seem to be. I am definitely glad that I got to watch it and I will recommend it to everyone who likes funny and peculiar love stories.