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Freeloaders


2012 | 77 min | R | 1.85:1

Freeloaders

Rating


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6.4
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2
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Movie appeal

 
Comedy100%

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Theatrical release date


 11 January, 2013

Country of origin


 United States

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Freeloaders Preview  

2
 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, December 13, 2012

Broken Lizard is no longer a brand name, it’s a warning label. “Freeloaders” arrives from Broken Lizard Industries, and while it doesn’t boast the comedy troupe’s participation beyond a few cameos and producing credits, the feature falls perfectly in line with their style of crude and clueless comedy. Although the effort is mercifully short (72 minutes long), “Freeloaders” is a lazy, unfunny film that doesn’t make an effort to dream up interesting situations and create memorable characters. A few odd touches stand out, but not for reasons that contribute to the entertainment value of the movie, finding the picture lifeless and in dire need of genuine screenwriting.



In the heart of Los Angeles, a mansion owned by singer Adam Duritz is currently home to Dave (Josh Lawson), Emma (Zoe Boyle), Benny (Kevin Sussman), Fritz (Nat Faxton), Trane (Warren Hutchinson), and Vic (Clifton Collins Jr.). Freeloaders who’ve been living in the lap of luxury for years now, throwing parties and avoiding the real world, the gang is shocked to discover Adam is about to marry and move to New York, requiring the sale of his home. Bringing in ruthless realtor Carolyn (Jane Seymour) to take care of the details, Adam is hopeful his pals will be able to find housing in a few short weeks, but this group has no idea how to take care of themselves. Hatching a plan to buy the mansion, the roommates discover they need a considerable amount of money to cover the cost, triggering a series of schemes and fundraisers to make a down payment and thwart Carolyn’s evil plan to rid the property of the potheads. For Dave, the situation is complicated by his relationship with Samantha (Brit Morgan), Carolyn’s personal assistant and a woman generally disapproving of the freeloaders’ antics to keep the abode out of strange hands.

The premise of “Freeloaders” appears ripe for a farce, tracking the destructive attitudes of these self-absorbed types as they cling with feral strength to their dismissal of responsibility, dreaming up wild plans to fund their down payment, hoping to sustain the run of casual sex and drug use they’ve enjoyed for the last three years. Perhaps if there was a screenplay willing to put in the time and effort to manipulate the eviction situation into a consistent comedic machine, “Freeloaders” might’ve found a place as a charmingly odd and unstoppable riot. Instead, the picture meanders, feeling episodic and feebly realized, creating a tedious group of deadbeats who are completely uninteresting, shabbily sketched, and poorly performed. Out of all these snoozy jesters, Jane Seymour lands the only laughs of the film, which should tell you something about the velocity of humor zipping around this movie.



The unironic use of Adam Duritz as the rich and powerful celebrity of the story is strange, though the lead singer of Counting Crows (yes, they’re still making music together) produced “Freeloaders,” making the choice more easily understood once the end credits roll. Still, Duritz isn’t much of an actor, and his blinding fame died down a long time ago, contributing to the stale atmosphere of the feature. The role seems ripe for a lunatic cameo from a cult film star, someone capable of making an impression without actually participating in the picture. Duritz certainly isn’t that guy.

Once the battle between the freeloaders and Carolyn begins, director/co-screenwriter Dan Rosen downshifts the movie into random encounters, following the individuals as they figure out how to sustain their lifestyle with as little effort as possible. The misadventures are relatively tame, offering a supporting role by “Kids in the Hall” star Dave Foley as himself, passing around DVD copies of “The Wrong Man” to anyone that will take one. It’s another appearance that could’ve used a more unhinged sense of comedic madness. There’s also a running joke concerning Benny’s pot-fogged stupidity, where he sells Duritz’s possessions online to make a small fortune, also falling for the classic Nigerian prince email scam. Again, it’s not insane enough to smash Rosen’s stagnant direction. This is where Broken Lizard comes in, with the boys playing a porn company willing to pay big bucks to the freeloaders for the use of Duritz’s mansion. While I appreciate the idea of Kevin Heffernan dressing up as Scotty from “Boogie Nights,” the rest of the scene is predictably pun-happy and poorly thought out.



Adding insult to injury, “Freeloaders” asks the audience to care about Dave and Samantha’s relationship. Rosen treats the love story seriously, tending to worthless formula as a way to make this string of flaccid jokes resemble an actual movie, even cooking up a break-up-to-make-up finale as the film’s last act of predictability. True to its title, “Freeloaders” simply doesn’t work. It almost seems as though it doesn’t even want to be funny.

Starring: Jane Seymour, Dave Foley, Adam Duritz, Clifton Collins, Jr., Josh Lawson, Kevin Sussman
Director: Dan Rosen

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Freeloaders, Forum Discussions



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