If The Freebie wasn’t about sex I think I would have liked it a more. Substitute the free-pass to an adulterous one-night stand with a free-pass to say, trying crystal meth, and this film would have probably been at turns hilarious and dramatic. Instead it’s just a film that supposes it’s for modern-day male and female hipsters, made by hipsters; yet nothing about this is anything close to hip. It’s almost a slap in the face to anyone at that hip twenty-to-thirtysomething age that seems to assume and stereotype them into also being generally without direction and terminally noncommittal.
The main couple is played by Dax Shepard and Kate Aselton who, uninspired and unexcited by their marriage anymore, yet too weak to just fucking divorce, decide to give each other “a freebie” with someone else. Onscreen this couple is so bored and lifeless in their relationship that besides the obvious intention of depicting how unconnected they are, it just serves to alienate the audience to the point of nausea. The fact that they even still remain together is just a nail in their coffin. The storyline is acted out like the self-indulgent drivel that the writing unfortunately is. To think this was a Sundance Writer’s Workshop script is disappointing. What other aspiring filmmaker was bumped of the opportunity to work on his/her script at Sundance so shit this could be made?
I see a lot of films and regardless of The Freebie being almost 2-years old, many of the films hitting the circuit right now are easily falling into this (attemptedly) hip, (attemptedly) irreverent, romantic comedy/drama for the twenty-to-thirtysomething set, and it’s really just the latest indie film-fad. Just like the edgier zombie films and environmental docu-dramas of recent years, films like these will always have a self-life and how they keep showing up in brand name festivals is beyond me, and how they ultimately find distribution is every more bewildering.