So last night I saw a screening of The Freebie, a new indie film that opens today in select cities, is helmed by first-time director Katie Aselton, and stars Ms. Aselton and Dax Shepard (of NBC’s treacly series Parenthood) in the leading roles. Now, I’m always prepared to loathe dramatic movies that don’t rely on a real script, where the actors ad-lib the majority of their allegedly profound dialogue. (And if I never see another loaded dinner-party scene with 30-something characters laughing, interrupting each other, and hitting the audience over the head with the film’s subtext, it’ll be too soon.)
But I’m not a film reviewer, and this post isn’t a film review. (Besides, I actually liked the movie, despite my best efforts not to. It was well-acted, filmed, and edited.)
But one really can’t help but talk about The Freebie afterward, as my screenwriter friend and I did over drinks and dinner following the showing. The Freebie centers around Annie (Katie Aselton) and Darren (Dax Shepard), an almost sickeningly in-love committed married couple in their 30s living in Los Angeles, who love each other, like each other, get each other, confide in each other, communicate with each other, have fun together, eat ice cream from the same spoon, flirt with each other at the farmers’ market, and laugh all the time. It’s the perfect relationship, this. (Not to mention perfectly irritating.) Problem is, Annie and Darren are experiencing a bit of a dry spell in the bedroom, though neither one seems particularly upset about this phase – on the surface, anyway. Instead of having sex, they sweetly do crossword puzzles together in bed, and seem perfectly happy doing so. But instead of – oh, I don’t know – seeing a marriage counselor about their underlying sexual issues, they proceed to hatch what seems like a really, really bad plan.
Fast Forward (and Spoiler Alert!):
Darren and Annie mutually decide that a one-night stand (each with a stranger, held off-premises on the same night) is exactly what they need to reinvigorate their sexual chemistry as a devoted married couple. Afterward, they won’t talk details. No names or specifics. They’ll never see their respective one-night-stands again. Darren and Annie will just come back together at home and marvel at how their relationship is now better, deeper, and, most of all, way more sexually exciting than it has been in recent months. Problem solved, right? Maybe. Maybe not.
At Blisstree, we really want to know what you think about this concept. We know you probably haven’t seen The Freebie yet, but have you ever done or considering doing what the film’s tagline proposes: “A One-Night Experiment In Infidelity”?
Is there anything to this, or is it just an absurdly dangerous idea all around? (The Freebie doesn’t ever address whether or not the “unfaithful” sex will be the safe kind, which I think the filmmaker should have.)
Maybe it’s not such a terrible thing to be that honest, communicative, and trusting with your partner. Or would we rather just not communicate at all, and later find out that our partner has been cheating on us – and then start thinking about cheating on our partner?
Sound off if you dare. Consider it your freebie.
Check out The Freebie’s blog, Untie-the-Knot and watch the movie trailer here: