Couples in troubled relationships try ridiculous things sometimes to keep that relationship alive. I’ve known couples who have attempted to bring in a permanent third partner into a relationship — with disastrous results — and others who have gone — or at least, took a stab at — the polyamorous route, which doesn’t really work very well, either. Relationships are like the political system in America: A two-party minimum. Bring in a legitimate third party, and well, you get George W. Bush as president.
Katie Aselton’s The Freebie, which is probably my favorite indie of the year, slightly ahead of the unreleased The Myth of the American Sleepover and The Kids Are All Right. The premise sounds absurd, but then, so does a three-person relationship. What’s magnificent about The Freebie, which features the best performance Dax Shepard will ever give in his entire life, is that it takes an odd conceit — each partner in this marriage gets one free night to troll for ass — and it very organically tracks the results. It feels almost like a documentary — it’s amazingly natural and real. It doesn’t veer into unexpected territory — it works out as predictably as you’d expect a relationship trick like that to work out, but it’s no less engrossing or emotionally intense.
It opens in NYC on September 17th. I’d love to see it do well enough to get a wider release. It’s a phenomenal movie. Here’s the trailer.