Darren and Annie are happily married which cannot be more evident from the fact that they cannot keep their hands off each other. Yet when they are in their bedroom they realize an odd fact which is that the last time they had sex was a while ago. A while ago means a long time for a married couple wherein they have every opportunity to have sex. I know it is not how it is but the ingredients are there and both of them are not ready to cook. Damn that sounded bad but you get the picture. This all spurred from the casual yet dangerous remark Darren made in their dinner outing with their friends. One of their friends breaking up from a long term relationship decides to go wild and Darren absolutely supports her saying that if he was in her shoes, he would do the same before making the big leap in to monogamy. Stupidly honest in this honest stupidity.
Darren and Annie decide to have one night off. Anyone including someone like myself not involved in a relationship might know what kind of dangerous decision that is. Yet the generation where being “forward” and “open” (yes with quotes) is the nice way of neglecting the personal preference, we could see Annie and Darren thinking that this was the idea of the century to fix their sex life. They believe in it, laugh about it and make funny references whenever they encounter a potential target for each other. I think that would have settled the score but both decided to go into this route and each believe that they do not want to be the first one to blink.
The votes are divided on whether humans are not meant to be monogamous. I think there is a truth to it but monogamy has been the proven method for sustained happiness going and growing through the bumps, fun rides and the weirdness of mid life crisis in a better way. I think at some moment people begin to get tired of explaining their life history to many people in the hopes of finding another partner. Age might do that. The proven principle in avoiding heartbreaks has been marriage but then again it breaks apart so many times in the current trend. I think I am arguing with myself to find an answer and there is none. Sometimes you do not want to find that out either. Darren and Annie get one which is not pleasant.
Katie Aselton provides a wonderful film which has a destined tragedy. Dax Shepard whom I have seen few times paying not much attention in stupid films gives a performance that is composed in its absurdity. This couple are a great couple and there is no reason they have to worry about their sex life as everything else about them seems so synced. There is a need to find it on whether there is more to it. They are worried on whether marriage makes a stale sex life and might finally succumb to the temptation in finding out something different. The idea of permanency is scary but curious us humans are, we invite and convince ourselves in reaching out for the obvious result and think back fathoming how crazy we were to fool ourselves in these supposed logical decisions.
“the freebie” might be despised for the decision the couple makes and go through being on a high pedestal. The self righteous nature of that might annoy the audience as it should. While their discussions are slightly pestering I could see Darren and Annie in flesh and blood being the people we all are and committing the blunders we all do. Annie even gets big sister advice from Jessica (Bellamy Young) and we can see why Annie ignores that despite the truth to it.
Katie Aselton is talented and there is no doubt about it. Both in acting and directing this, she is thorough in the material she has taken upon. The killing silence and the mundane activities becoming a gift to avoid the pauses are given with a stunning horror film feel. The energy in between these two alters throughout the film and is so visible that I have to say Katie succeeds in this somewhat predictable film. Yet we are curious on what happened during that night off. Whether they are telling the truth when they say what happened makes “the freebie” a scary moral lesson in any relationship.