The FreebieSeptember 17, 2010
A young couple decides to give each other a night off, no questions asked.
Release Year: 2010
Rating: 5.0/10 (886 voted)
Critic's Score: 54/100
Stars: Katie Aselton, Dax Shepard, Marguerite Phillips
In Los Angeles, Annie and Darren are a married couple in a comfortable relationship that's lost its spark. They talk constantly, express affection verbally, start the day with high-end coffee, end the afternoon with gelato, shop at the farmer's market, prepare dinner as a team, do crossword puzzles, and talk in bed. Darren wonders if a one-night stand would help bring more sex to their marriage. Soon, the two of them are laying out the ground rules and talking through the mechanics of each finding a lover for one night. They agree to give each other no details about the experience. The night comes. Will this give their relationship a needed boost?
Dinner Party Guest
Guy in the Store
(as Leonora Gershman)
A One Night Experiment in Infidelity
Release Date: 17 September 2010
Opening Weekend: $4,309
(19 September 2010)
(4 October 2010)
So yeah, let's talk about it. The fact that Will's not here, and I know you guys liked Will. And I love him, still, but it was a long time coming, and it's over, and this time it's for real. Last night I finally did it. I finally was honest, and I'm sad, and it was hard, and it's been a hard time. But now it's done. And now I get to go and be myself. I'm excited to be me, I'm exited to be me without Will. I'm excited to live alone. I'm excited to have my own food in the refrigerator. I'm exited to come home and not know what the fuck I'm going to do that night…
Superior to Hall Pass in Every Way
I'll start with the one bone I need to pick: the title of the movie,
The Freebie. The name implies that the film is fun and lighthearted.
Sure, at times. But, as a whole, this is a serious story that will
surely be relatable to a whole lot of people. And, while I'm on the
topic, I get the impression that a lot of people were misled by both
the poster (which makes it look like an Jud Apatow movie) and the
casting of Dax Shepard, who is mostly known for his comedic roles.
Thus, I'd guess, the low score the movie has on IMDb. The unreasonably
So, I'm guessing, someone along the way knew that this was a pretty
great movie and thus wanted it to be one that people would see. Thus
the title. Thus the poster. Thus all the wrong people seeing this
movie. The Freebie is for fans of Noah Baumbach and Joe Swanberg.
What The Freebie is is naturalistic drama done right. The story is
simple: a happy couple decide to "fix" their bedroom apathy by taking a
single night to go out and share some bone with a stranger. Both Katie
Aselton and Shepard are fantastic, both as lovers and as people going
through a mighty big challenge together. Much of the dialogue in the
first two acts plays through in a way that makes you wish it was your
relationship – the two leads seeming so uniquely happy together at
times that you get the feeling that Aselton took from her personal life
for the script. Things change a bit in the third act, as they should.
Things get, well, heavy.
Knowing that the writer/director, Aselton, is married to
actor/writer/director Mark Duplass, I half expected the film to have a
Mumblecore vibe. Not really the case. The cinematography is solid, if
simple, the picture always looking big and bright and, at times, quite
stylized. And sure, the writing and acting are great, but it's the
combination of clever editing and the believable bond between the two
leads that really make this thing work.
I don't want to give too much away. Go watch the movie … it's
streaming right now on Netflix and up for rent at your local video
store. I'll be excited to see what Katie does next. I could see the
coupling of this project and her role on "The League" getting her some
rom-com roles alongside Paul Rudd or Seth Rogan or whoever. I hope she
passes on those. I love to see a smart, talented female "make it" in
any male-dominated industry. I think Katie has what it takes to have a
solid career as a filmmaker, The Freebie standing as a very promising