Barefoot

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Barefoot Movie Poster Image
Romantic dramedy is touching but shallow; mature themes.
  • PG-13
  • 2014
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

You don't have to earn love; people love you just because they do. You can do anything; you just have to want to do it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jay drinks alcohol at all hours, gambles, smokes, and solves too many problems with his fists. But he's a lovable rogue, loyal to his friends, and revealed to be running from family dysfunction and his inability to handle emotions. Although a part of him wants to, he can't bring himself to deliberately hurt those he cares about for personal gain. Daisy shows incredible resilience despite having been raised with virtually no contact with the outside world. She takes things at face value, is utterly without guile, and learns she's capable of a lot more than she gives herself credit for.

Violence

Several punches thrown, once repeatedly in the abdomen. Brutal and multiple hits with a mop handle; the person being hit is off camera. Choking with a chain from behind; the victim struggles violently, and the assailant is stopped when hit twice on the head with a blunt object.

Sex

Several scenes take place in a nightclub with pole dancing prominently shown with all dancers clad in bikinis; one is mentioned as being nude but isn't visible. A pornographic magazine briefly shown, but no body parts are visible. One kiss. "Hand job" and "stiffy" each mentioned once. A hospital worker pretends to be a doctor, and it's implied that he's trying to molest a patient, apparently stopped before anything happens.

Language

"S--t," "holy s--t," "screwed," "f--ked," "ass," "crazy-ass."

Consumerism

A vintage Dodge RV, Scrabble, Baileys.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Jay smokes and drinks several times. A few scenes take place in a nightclub where background people drink and smoke. Jay orders a drink at a casino bar. Jay and Daisy drink champagne at a formal party. A nurse tries to give pills to a psychiatric patient, who says she doesn't want to take more pills.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Barefoot is a romance with a little drama and comedy. Protagonist Jay is on probation, heavily in debt to a loan shark; he drinks, gambles, and smokes. But he's shown to be a good, if damaged, person at heart, trying to turn his life around. There's some violent punching and choking, with the victim of a brutal beating off camera. Sexual innuendo includes mention of "hand job" and "stiffy," and a nightclub setting has bikini-clad pole dancing. There's one kiss, and strong language includes "s--t" and "f--ked."

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What's the story?

Lovable rogue Jay (Scott Speedman) just can't seem to get his life together. Heavily in debt to a loan shark and almost caught in violation of his parole agreement, he decides to skip town, head back to his rich family, and hopefully get the money he so desperately needs. He decides to take Daisy (Evan Rachel Wood), a young woman he just met, along to pass off as his girlfriend. But Daisy's escaped from a psychiatric hospital, and eventually the law catches up to them. They hit the road in a borrowed vintage RV, hoping to make it across the country and set things right before they get caught.

Is it any good?

BAREFOOT has at its heart a touching romance that vividly displays the considerable screen magnetism of both its stars. Evan Rachel Wood and Scott Speedman both give strong performances that make it easy to see how someone could fall for them, and teens will enjoy watching how each of their dysfunctions perfectly complements the other as their romance unfolds.

There are some nuggets of a compelling story in there (Daisy's past, Jay's relationship with his family) that unfortunately get lost as the film has a hard time deciding where it really wants to go. It either lingers too long in the wrong place (the RV chase scene) or glosses over a moment or relationship we'd really like to know more about (when Jay's parents bail him out of jail). The result leaves feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction with the romance, mixed with the sense that you almost watched a really good movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how you know when you're in love. Daisy says it's when you know it can't be anything else. Do you agree?

  • Does Daisy and Jay's relationship seem believable? What do they do that seems realistic to you? What doesn't seem realistic?

  • What do you think would have become of Daisy and Jay if they hadn't met each other? Do you think they have a future together?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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