Tribeca Film Festival ’12: Free Samples Review
Oh, the plight of a 20-something. Jillian is a law student who has dropped out to be an artist (with no talent), and has been asked to cover a friend’s day at work giving out free samples of a frozen treat. While the concept is fun and the individual interactions are very entertaining, Jillian’s character is very unbelievable mostly due to the dialogue.
Taking place, for the most part in a parking lot, director Jay Gammill never lets the visuals get stale but the music, although seemingly subtle, is in and out and distracts. Silence would have given the film more dramatic credibility, but the music lightens it up too much, and it’s like the film is ending after every scene. I do really like the natural noise of the cars going by.
Jess Weixler as Jillian, also snarky, and bitchy, but she never commits to a mood. I do like her voice and delivery. She’s got a certain cadence that is entertaining. I also like how the character is very vulnerable, but yet, she at points goes out of her way just to be mean and it seems forced. Her friend, Nancy (Halley Feiffer), has a fantastic voice and I really enjoyed her character. I was disappointed not seeing her more.
As for the men/boys, Wally (Jason Ritter) is adorable, but I was not sure how he knew Jillian because at times it seemed like they were old friends, but then minutes later it was as if he recently met her. Jillian’s potential date, Tex/Albert (Jesse Eisenberg), although entertaining, was way too rehearsed. The dialogue was good, but he knew it too well and he is way too confident.
The highlight is Tippi Hedren as Betty, the older woman who visits the truck and chats with Jillian. Although it’s a great character, I’m not sure if Jillian would have been that receptive to her the way she was treating everyone else.
I would have enjoyed the film more if it was less snarky and more depressed. As a girl who gave up her potential career as a lawyer, she doesn’t seem to concerned about what she’s doing with her life, but that is seemingly the topic of the film. Her character should have been lamenting her future possibilities instead she’s bantering with the customers. The last major development is very out-of-place and it throws off the entire momentum. The story just doesn’t flow well.
Rating: Good as separate scenes, but not as a whole film. 4/10
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