IFF Boston: The Freebie

27 April 2010, 7:06 am

The big shocker for me in the Q&A following The Freebie was when writer/director/co-star Katie Aselton revealed that the script (about a couple who decide that both of them having a one-night-stand will renew the erotic spark of their marriage) was almost completely improvised from a 6-page outline. I’m very impressed by Aselton and her co-star Dax Shepard’s improvisational skills, because — with the exception of one confrontation that felt forced to me — the script felt tightly written. It was frequently awkward, but it was dealing with awkward stuff, and the chemistry between Aselton and Shepard was so convincing that I wondered if they might be on off-screen couple.

First-time director Aselton made some bold and interesting choices in bringing her story to the screen. The camera is often tight on the actors’ faces, sometimes so much so that a cheekbone will briefly dominate the frame. And the sound design in a scene where the couple wash dishes was extraordinary. I liked it walking out of the screening, but after thinking about it since I think I like it even more.

Bonus weird thing: In one of the first shots, Dax Shepard’s character Darren is reading Dash Shaw’s Bottomless Belly Button, probably the best graphic novel I’ve read in the last year or two. Lotta alliteration there, but also ensured I’d warm to the film early.

2 comments on “IFF Boston: The Freebie”

  1. Brad

    Nice to know I wasn’t the only one who noticed Bottomless Belly Button :) I asked Aselton about it, thinking there might be an anecdote behind it, but it just ended up that her husband had been sent it, and they liked the cover.

    (side note: I felt exactly the same way about Drones… too tired to know if it was me or the film that was drifting off…)

  2. villain

    re: Drones, heh, glad to hear it wasn’t just me…

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