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The Freebie (2010)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 15
Rotten: 11

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 9
Fresh: 4
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 1,646

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Movie Info

A couple hatches a highly dubious scheme to put the spark back in their marriage in this independent comedy drama. Annie (Katie Aselton) and Darren (Dax Shepard) have been married for seven years, and they love each other as much as the day they were wed; they're affectionate, have fun together, and enjoy games such as crossword puzzle races. They would seem to have a perfect relationship, except for one thing -- they haven't had sex in ages, and seem to have lost all interest in making love … More

Rating:
R (for language and sexual content.)
Genre:
Drama , Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Jan 11, 2011
Runtime:
Phase 4 - Official Site


Cast


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Critic Reviews for The Freebie

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (11)

A sly examination of the fragility of love.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Miami Herald
Top Critic

A not too funny, not too sad, largely improvised dramedy about two nice people who both succumb to the seven-year-itch and live to regret it.

Full Review… | November 11, 2010
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Aselton gets a lot said in 78 minutes. I think the main thing she says is something never overtly spoken, that life is essentially a lonely experience - even when we're surrounded by activity, and even if we never shut up.

Full Review… | October 28, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Though the dialogue explores some interesting territory, the couple remain elusive and a little dull; we never learn anything about them beyond the subject at hand, so they seem to exist in an odd, screenwriting-exercise vacuum.

Full Review… | October 7, 2010
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Though its premise seems ripe for a high-concept studio yukfest, The Freebie is all the better for its low-budget, human-scale approach.

Full Review… | September 30, 2010
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Katie Aselton has achieved the seemingly impossible. She's turned a movie about sex into a boring, talky snooze.

Full Review… | September 17, 2010
New York Post
Top Critic

Aselton proves herself to be a formidable filmmaker with a keen eye for shame, making the picture something of a surprise, especially with its sense of marital realism.

Full Review… | January 11, 2011
BrianOrndorf.com

Annie and Darren grow on us organically. The more they squirm, the more entertaining they are.

Full Review… | November 22, 2010
East Bay Express

Love's fragile intangibles rarely feel so visible. Viewers with a wandering eye may feel like they've gotten something out of their system.

Full Review… | November 10, 2010
Metromix.com

Something of an emotional-psychological cheat. The big emotional argument to which the film builds is inherently less interesting than what causes that action -- all of which remains unaddressed.

Full Review… | October 13, 2010
Shared Darkness

An intriguing premise rendered ultimately bland and moralistic.

Full Review… | September 17, 2010
Film Journal International

Raw and emotionally truthful...an intriguing two-hander (mostly), about the dangers of temptation and the freedom of monogamy.

Full Review… | September 17, 2010
Hollywood & Fine

The chemistry between the stars makes them an easy couple to root for.

Full Review… | September 16, 2010
HitFix

Aselton keeps it simple, and in the process makes an astute, powerful film.

Full Review… | September 16, 2010
Cinematical

With a sure hand both behind and in front of the camera, Aselton exposes a raw nerve within all of us, and even entertains in the process.

Full Review… | September 16, 2010
CinemaBlend.com

[Katie Aselton] grounds each scene in a sense of realism while tackling, sans preachiness, the universal issues of fidelity, trust, friendship and love with sensitivity.

Full Review… | September 16, 2010
NYC Movie Guru

The result is less of a movie than a sketch -- but a perceptive one

Full Review… | September 15, 2010
New York Press

[Dax] Shepard and [Katie] Aselton are great together, carrying the film as a couple so believable you feel like you're spying on their private conversations.

Full Review… | September 15, 2010
Metromix.com

Audience Reviews for The Freebie

"A One Night Experiment in Infidelity"

A young couple decides to give each other a night off, no questions asked.

REVIEW
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.

More
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

½

After a dinner party, Annie(Katie Aselton, who also directed) and Darren(Dax Shepard) are inspired by a newly single friend to talk about hypothetical sex partners. It's not until their nightly crossword puzzles that the potential becomes increasingly real and they even start to hash out the details of a mutual one night stand.

As a promising directorial debut, "The Freebie" is a bracingly honest look at relationships.(Even at one point when he is obviously lying, Darren is also telling the truth.) The central question is whether a relationship can survive without sex? And I know cynics and "The Object of My Affection" point out that all marriages devolve into friendships, but does that really have to be the case in Darren and Annie? Although as inferred later, this is only the sympton of a much larger ingredient that is missing from their marriage. Thankfully, this movie does not overstay its welcome in trying to find those answers, as it eventually develops a nonsequential structure starting with Annie's walk of shame.

More
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Heartbreakingly real and honest, Darren and Annie have simply become too close that instead of taking a normal step forward in their relationship (say having a child), they opt to devote a single night to having an affair. Most of the film is their leading up to the night and then the fallout. Do not expect a laugh-fest of pick up lines and one night stands. Instead, get ready for an almost documentary look at the life of two monogamous characters stuck in a rut and their ass-backwards way of fixing it.

More
xas5
Christopher Haskell

Super Reviewer

½

It's not the movie you expect. I mention that as a positive. I went into this movie expecting something light and silly, but it was quite the opposite. The treatment of the subject matter was handled with a lot of realism and honesty. It was surprisingly anti-fairytale, highly untidy, and extremely raw in true indie film fashion.

More
liveforward
Dan B

Super Reviewer

The Freebie Quotes


Darren:
I has been a little while since... When was the last time that we...
Annie:
Um...
Darren:
After Riches... after Riches party?
Annie:
I don't think we actually had sex then, I think we talked about having sex.
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
Lea:
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...
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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