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Free Samples (2012)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  20 April 2012 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,372 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 24 user | 28 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

A Stanford law-school dropout named Jillian escapes to the anonymity of Los Angeles to figure out what she wants to do with her life, and on the day of her college boyfriend's birthday, she... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jillian
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Tex
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Wally
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Nancy
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Betty
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Danny
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Paula
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Dana
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Matthew
Jordan Davis ...
Peter
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Antonio
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Mr. Hightower
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Steel
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Neighbor
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Noah
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Storyline

A Stanford law-school dropout named Jillian escapes to the anonymity of Los Angeles to figure out what she wants to do with her life, and on the day of her college boyfriend's birthday, she finds herself stuck running an ice cream truck fending off locals and oddball friends alike. This one day spent in a truck on the streets of Los Angeles will wake Jillian from her aimless daze and make her see that life doesn't stop just because you want it to. Written by Jay Gammill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ever have one of those years?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

20 April 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Searching for Love  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in 13 days in Los Angeles. See more »

Quotes

Jillian: You don't trust me?
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Soundtracks

Tiny Push
Written and Performed by Kevin W. Buchholz and Jessie Shapiro
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User Reviews

 
A directionless character in a mostly directionless film supported by good actors and some funny lines
14 April 2013 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Jillian (Jess Weixler) is a Stanford law-school drop-out reeling from her recent life choices with no direction for her future. "Free Samples" is one day in the life of Jillian. Covering for a friend, she's forced to work at an ice cream truck handing out free samples of ice cream or ice cream-like substances. She doesn't like it to say the least, but she doesn't like much in her life.

Spending essentially the entire film at the lonely ice cream truck in some LA suburban parking lot, each character, mostly strangers, come into Jillian's life only once. They generally want ice cream and usually throw in an extra nonsense statement which Jillian likes taking offence too and rudely and sarcastically responds to them. The writing for all the random characters was pretty terrible. I can't believe that every single stranger is insane and can't order ice cream like a normal person (especially if that's what they're intending to do).

There are three supporting characters who see Jillian more than once: Her best friend Nancy (Halley Feiffer); her love interest Tex (Jesse Eisenberg); and her friend Wally (Jason Ritter). Each of them got a handful of funny lines – Nancy discussing her recent encounter with Wally was especially funny and then we could laugh the next time we saw Wally even though Ritter was underused. Eisenberg did a good job of playing a fairly confident suitor for the unstable Jillian.

Jess Weixler did a fantastic job playing Jillian and carrying the film. Jillian was inconsistent at times and always abrasive and insulting. It is extremely difficult to make such a character compelling, let alone likable. And while I wouldn't say that Jillian really possessed either quality, Weixler added a sympathetic essence to her so you at least cared to see where Jillian would wind up at the end of the day.

On the downside, you have to navigate all the stupidly unfunny random characters for over half the film until you get some twists to help reveal Jillian's current predicament. I was also disappointed that the obstacles for her to sort out are predominantly romance related. However, there's definitely some talent to be able to keep a film like "Free Samples" about an unlikable heroine stuck in an ice cream truck for one day interacting with one-off characters afloat.

Who Might Like This: People college-aged or older who can relate to Jillian's lack of direction in her life; people who like simple, quirky, dialogue-heavy character studies; anybody who doesn't mind random one- off characters used in an almost vignette-like setting; and fans of Jess Weixler or people who want to get to know a good up-and-coming actress.


9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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No one actually bought anything from the truck? historyofasteamengine
Trailer??? CarMcDouglas
West Coast premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival 2012! dopeysang
release date? jane-lane
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