The Freebie

SXSW Review

The Freebie

Director: Katie Aselton
Festival Favorites
77 minutes

Complete Coverage of SXSW 2010

Synopsis
THE FREEBIE, directed by and starring Katie Aselton, is a romantic drama about a contented, yet sexually frustrated couples’ experiment to allow each other ‘one night off’. Darren (Dax Shepard) and Annie (Aselton) have an enviable relationship built on love, trust and communication – they still enjoy each other’s company and laugh at each other’s jokes, but, unfortunately, they can’t remember the last time they had sex. When a dinner party conversation leads to an honest discussion about the state of their love life they begin to flirt with a way to spice things up. The deal: one night of freedom, no strings attached, no questions asked. Could a “freebie” be the cure for their ailing sex life? And will they go through with it?

Director Bio
Frequently working as an actor with the Duplass Brothers, Katie Aselton starred in The Puffy Chair, The Intervention, and also has a role alongside John C. Reilly in their upcoming Fox Searchlight Movie, Cyrus. She has appeared in NBC’s The Office and she is currently starring in the FX television show The League. The Freebie is Aseltons directorial debut.

WHO’S IT FOR? Hey, it’s just you and me talking here. No one else around. Have you thought about cheating on your spouse? Well, you might want to watch this before doing anything else.

OVERALL

We’re actually seeing Dax Shepard evolve into an actor. Seriously. No, I’m not making a joke. He’s growing up. Darren and Annie start out as what seems to be the perfect couple in every single way. It’s a little tough to believe what is coming because of how perfect they seem. Sure, they’re a hit at parties, but even in their private life they are terribly affectionate toward one another. Somehow they haven’t had sex for months. The freebie idea comes up as a spark for them. Each one gets one night with someone else. There’s some good conversation here, like when Darren worries he might not be able to score in one night, yet he assumes Annie (a woman wanting sex) would have no problem.

The only problem I had with the film was the lead into “the freebie” conversation. Again, they are so loving, understanding and affectionate toward one another … how can they not find a way to have a good sex life IF that is what they are after?

It makes a good conversation, one that you might even consider having with your spouse. It’s playful to see the two checking out a waitress and wondering if that will be Darren’s chance. it’s the aftermath that is uncomfortable. It should be, it snaps you back into reality and what an awful idea this actually is. I am going to say one thing about the ending here, so you need to stop reading if you want to go in fresh. Seriously. Stop. The movie doesn’t spell this out, but I believe Darren did cheat. I don’t think Annie did.

The freebie idea … terrible. The Freebie film … worth watching.

FINAL SCORE: 7/10

1 Comment

  1. Bill says:

    Funny, I saw this movie not long ago and I came away with just the opposite opinion about “who did and who didn’t.” What indication did you see that Annie was going to change her mind? She was wrapped around that guy like a python with her tongue halfway down his throat. It appeared to me she was well past the point of no return. Darren, on the other hand, acted very indecisive with his barista and even in the last scene between them, his heart still didn’t appear to be totally into it. Then when you add in Annie’s BS story about why she stayed out all night and why she initially “lied” and told Darren she went through with her one night stand. it seems fairly obvious she went through with it. I think Darren ultimately bought her retraction of her confession because the truth was something he couldn’t live with, and he probably felt guilty because it was his stupid idea in the first place that led to Annie being carried into that restroom stall by the bartender. But again, I thought it was obvious that she was the one who had sex with somebody else, not him.

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