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Review: The Freebie

R eveals lifetimes of intimacy
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 15, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars

As can be seen in the opening bliss montage, married couple Annie (Katie Aselton, who also directs) and Darren (Dax Shepherd) are almost disgustingly in love with each other: they hug, kiss, tickle toes, do crossword puzzles — everything, it seems, except have sex. How to relight the spark? Darren suggests that they each have a one-night stand, and Annie reluctantly agrees.

In her feature debut, Aselton shows a knack for capturing small talk and the nuances of relationships, from Annie and Darren’s bibulous get-togethers with their amusing friends to their head-on confrontations over, or torturous avoidances of, their ongoing crisis. Her choice of a skewed chronology does not work so well, but her performance and Shepherd’s — sadly more appealing when they’re miserable than when they’re besotted — reveal lifetimes of intimacy, trust, betrayal, and reconciliation.

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