There is one thing about "Barefoot" that makes it at least a guilty pleasure. Once you ignore how improbable Daisy is—why is it that a girl so naïve and unworldly can always have such perfect hair and just-so makeup, unless her mother also let her watch makeover shows—there is something oddly captivating about Wood's performance.
At the other end of the spectrum, two patients at the hospital played by David Jensen and Thomas Francis Murphy provide a bracing tonic effect, cutting through the sap like two characters who wandered in from a sharper and more believable story.
But Fleming treats Stephen Zotnowski’s script with a glossy literalism that doesn’t do it or the actors any favors. Laughs are few, strained pathos (complete with strategically placed Nick Drake track) is abundant, while the romantic aspect is just … icky.
Never cloying but rarely moving, “Barefoot” is also plagued throughout by witless jokes and an offensively simplistic view of mental illness. At least it offers two happy endings: Jay and Daisy get their requisite reunion, and this dumb, drippy dreck eventually ends.
Another reason this romance is so enjoyable, is the innocent quality to the story. Because of Daisy’s isolation (she isn’t really crazy), you feel for her desire to just be loved by someone in a wholesome kind of, non-sexual way.
- The Silver Petticoat Review
And “Barefoot” dodges that sentimentalize-the-schizophrenic trap by having Jay not flirt with Daisy, and by giving her very real problems that could be caused by any number of things — things that don’t necessarily call for institutionalization.
Barefoot is funny and sweet. If you like romantic comedies, give it a try. I think you’ll like it.
Barefoot left much to be desired. While it has some of the essential ingredients to be a perfect indie rom-com; a spoonful of Evan Rachel Wood‘s kewpie, doe-eyed, Daisy, and a dose of ne’er-do-well bad boy with striking good looks, Jay, played by Scott Speedman, the film lacks the spark necessary to really label it a success.