Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Freebie: Movie Review

(2010, directed by: Katie Aselton, starring: Dax Shepard and Katie Aselton)

A sex comedy without sex or comedy. And that's a good thing.

"The Freebie" is about a couple who decide to give each other one free night off from their marriage. It sounds like the upcoming Owen Wilson comedy "Hall Pass"(2011), except in this case it's not a comedy. At least I don't think it's a comedy. It has been marketed as one but I don't think it was the filmmaker's intention.

Instead of cheap laughs, we get a very personal, introspective look into one couple's relationship. Dax Shepard and director Katie Aselton play Darren and Annie who claim that they have the best relationship—with open communication and complete honesty. The film doesn't just tell us they are open and honest but we see it, and experience it, for ourselves. They are more open and honest than I imagine most real life couples ever could be.

The question of, "is there such thing as too honest?" comes up when Darren expresses to Annie that he sometimes has a desire to sleep with somebody else. Since they are so confident with what they have, they foresee no problems with each other having a freebie. The film actually finds a way to explore this set-up in a fairly interesting way. I was very curious with the fate of their relationship and I wanted to see how it would get there.

I was a bit concerned that there was no comedy, and there was nothing else to the story, but I think they came up with a new way to tell the same old story—a story about sex, but without resorting to showing us sexy stars in naked poses. Instead, we just got a very naked, raw examination of a relationship. "The Freebie" is definitely worth a look if that sounds interesting to you.