Free and Easy (Easy Go) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Free and Easy (Easy Go) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2010
I liked this movie for most of it, but the ending is disappointing. It starts out very funny, but slowly looses steam and doesn't end well. I only recommend this to big fans of Keaton who, like me, just want to see all his movies.
July 1, 2014
Free and Easy is probably one of the most depressing movies I've ever watched, and not because of the film itself, but because of all the missed opportunity. In Buster Keaton's first talkie there's little to no slapstick. Yeah, one of the best slapstick artists in history has a movie with none of the craft. Even with some great scenarios, like a train and several movie sets, no one gives him any good gags. Buster wasn't just slapstick though, he also had a lot of other good qualities too, so maybe those will rise here. Nope, each attempted joke falls flat, and sometimes it seems like it's not even a comedy. The lack of Buster's energetic tone doesn't help either, the whole thing's just boring. As you might have noticed, Buster Keaton's talents are very underused here, along with the man himself. Most the time it seems like they're trying to keep him out of his own movie, then we're left with some truly boring and annoying characters. Our female protagonist is wishy washy and honestly doesn't do anything in the plot, and her mother is loud and irritating, not the cast you'd want to stay with for about 90 minutes. The other male protagonist is just as bad, and pretty darn generic, I honestly can't think of anything to say about him except he's the typical jerk in these films. Overall Free and Easy is a dreadful experience, and is made even worse by a terrible misuse of Buster Keaton. The only good thing I can say about it is the title musical number isn't that bad, but it's at the end and is rather short. Just go watch a good Keaton picture like The General, Steamboat Bill Jr., or The Navigator, and avoid this one at all costs.
½ June 17, 2009
My first buster Keaton talkie - before this, I was unaware of Keaton even having a voice and finally hearing it took away some of the comedy with the companioned dead pan face. Free and Easy is a major flop: No character is likable, the comedy is really forced and dated, and its ending is a real downer. I usually like my movies to end that way, but knowing that Keaton was then being limited by a studio, it angers. Although Keaton manages to inject some of his comedy every so often (Portions with visual sight gags which are funnier than 90 % of the jokes in the dialogue), the studio interference outweighs the positive. The setting is quite boring (Train then movie studios) though it carries a lot of metaphors for the relationship between MGM and Buster Keaton.

I saw Free and Easy along with the two other Keaton films featured in the Buster Keaton Collection pack, and an interesting documentary short was on Disc 2, entitled So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM. It explains how Keaton's classic films were ripped off later on, how he was manipulated and limited by MGM, how his early silent masterpieces went unnoticed until years later, and how personal struggles including alcoholism and divorce tragically changed his way of participating with his films.

The documentary short (Which I probably won't be able to add to Flixster's database since it premiered on TV) gets 7.5/10, Free and Easy gets 5.5/10
September 20, 2008
One of the most depressing things I have ever seen. The jump down in quality from The Cameraman and even Spite Marriage to this is astounding.
½ March 13, 2008
Not terrible. but damn is it depressing, both in story and in seeing Keaton's career collapse right before our eyes. Keaton gives a good performance, but it's clearly not 'his'. Anita Page offers some brightness to the movie, and Robert Montgomery is good, too.
July 1, 2014
Free and Easy is probably one of the most depressing movies I've ever watched, and not because of the film itself, but because of all the missed opportunity. In Buster Keaton's first talkie there's little to no slapstick. Yeah, one of the best slapstick artists in history has a movie with none of the craft. Even with some great scenarios, like a train and several movie sets, no one gives him any good gags. Buster wasn't just slapstick though, he also had a lot of other good qualities too, so maybe those will rise here. Nope, each attempted joke falls flat, and sometimes it seems like it's not even a comedy. The lack of Buster's energetic tone doesn't help either, the whole thing's just boring. As you might have noticed, Buster Keaton's talents are very underused here, along with the man himself. Most the time it seems like they're trying to keep him out of his own movie, then we're left with some truly boring and annoying characters. Our female protagonist is wishy washy and honestly doesn't do anything in the plot, and her mother is loud and irritating, not the cast you'd want to stay with for about 90 minutes. The other male protagonist is just as bad, and pretty darn generic, I honestly can't think of anything to say about him except he's the typical jerk in these films. Overall Free and Easy is a dreadful experience, and is made even worse by a terrible misuse of Buster Keaton. The only good thing I can say about it is the title musical number isn't that bad, but it's at the end and is rather short. Just go watch a good Keaton picture like The General, Steamboat Bill Jr., or The Navigator, and avoid this one at all costs.
April 25, 2014
keaton talks! this is his first talkie
½ April 21, 2014
It's kind of a shame, because it's the most heartbreaking Keaton film I've seen and the end shot is brilliant and perfect but what kills this film for me is the obscene amount of dance and musical numbers that don't do anything for the film except increase it's overly long running time. It's definitely my least favorite of Keatons and was probably his first big flop.
½ March 8, 2014
Keaton's first talking feature has some funny moments, offset with some odd musical interludes.
½ October 18, 2011
I believe that Buster Keaton tried his best to give a good performance in this movie. He talked, he danced, he even sang- and I think it was a good effort- but the film is weak (not because of Buster). I didn't think the writing was very good in the first place; it was not a very good concept/script/story. You can tell that Buster Keaton is out of his element.
½ November 30, 2008
good but uneven keaton's first talkie.
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2010
I liked this movie for most of it, but the ending is disappointing. It starts out very funny, but slowly looses steam and doesn't end well. I only recommend this to big fans of Keaton who, like me, just want to see all his movies.
May 17, 2010
if you want to watch a big, gaudy, self-promoting studio slowly suck the life and livelihood out of the most brilliant of the silent era's comedians than by all means, watch 'free and easy.' fans of putting puppies to sleep would love this one.
½ September 12, 2009
I'm a Buster Keaton fan, and it's very sad for me to admit that his first talking movie is not good. As everybody does, I prefer Keaton's silent movies.
½ June 17, 2009
My first buster Keaton talkie - before this, I was unaware of Keaton even having a voice and finally hearing it took away some of the comedy with the companioned dead pan face. Free and Easy is a major flop: No character is likable, the comedy is really forced and dated, and its ending is a real downer. I usually like my movies to end that way, but knowing that Keaton was then being limited by a studio, it angers. Although Keaton manages to inject some of his comedy every so often (Portions with visual sight gags which are funnier than 90 % of the jokes in the dialogue), the studio interference outweighs the positive. The setting is quite boring (Train then movie studios) though it carries a lot of metaphors for the relationship between MGM and Buster Keaton.

I saw Free and Easy along with the two other Keaton films featured in the Buster Keaton Collection pack, and an interesting documentary short was on Disc 2, entitled So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM. It explains how Keaton's classic films were ripped off later on, how he was manipulated and limited by MGM, how his early silent masterpieces went unnoticed until years later, and how personal struggles including alcoholism and divorce tragically changed his way of participating with his films.

The documentary short (Which I probably won't be able to add to Flixster's database since it premiered on TV) gets 7.5/10, Free and Easy gets 5.5/10
½ December 3, 2008
unfortunately, this wasnt very good and was an absolute waste of his abillities and insight. after the cameraman, arguably his best film, his made boring and awkward sound films that were neither funny nor heartfelt. this comes pretty close to being a waste of time
½ November 9, 2008
This was the beginning of the end for Keaton, as signing a contract with MGM would ultimately restrict his creativity and force him into projects that were mediocre product, rather than art. His first movie with them, THE CAMERAMAN, was a masterpiece, but great art can sneak its way through even the most controlling of studios sometimes. SPITE MARRIAGE was a big step down in quality, but it was still entertaining. FREE AND EASY was Keaton's first talkie, and instead of performing his death-defying stunts and using his amazing body's abilities to generate laughter, Keaton instead has to spend a lot of time on wordplay gags that aren't that funny, and he performs very few of his trademark eye-popping stunts, and when he does do something physical that is Keatonesque, it feels forced and unnatural. It's sad, because Keaton's genius would be boxed in to generate mediocre product like this for the rest of his career.
September 20, 2008
One of the most depressing things I have ever seen. The jump down in quality from The Cameraman and even Spite Marriage to this is astounding.
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