Thursday, 20 June 2013

Film #6: Barefoot (TBC)

Directed by: Til Schweiger
Released: 2005
Original title: Barfu
β (Barefoot)

This film, a charming romantic comedy, seems a little harder to get hold of than those I have reviewed so far – it doesn’t even seem to have been given an official certification for the UK. I wasn’t able to rent it, but it is available for purchase from some online retailers, and I think it’s worth the effort.

In the wrong hands, the humour in this film could have been seriously ill judged. Desperate not to turn to his rich family and take up a job with the stepfather he loathes, slacker Nick (Til Schweiger – yep, him again!) takes a job as a cleaner in a hospital for people with psychological problems. Sacked within a matter of hours and taking refuge in the toilets, he happens upon Leila (Johanna Wokalek), who is attempting to commit suicide. After he saves her life, she decides to follow him home. Unable to risk her trying to kill herself again, Nick takes her along to his brother’s wedding, unaware of just how little Leila actually knows about the world.

Comedies about any type of mental disorder can tread a thin line, but here the emphasis is on Leila’s total lack of knowledge about the real world and the contrast between her sweet, innocent nature and Nick's attitude to life in general and to women in particular. Yes, the story stretches credulity, and yes it's fairly obvious where the plot is heading, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable, and the ending is really quite moving (which is saying something, coming from someone not exactly known for her love of romantic movies!)

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