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Reviews & Ratings for
Free Samples More at IMDbPro »

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30 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Unexpectedly charming and fun

Author: ethanstraffin from United States
30 September 2012

Based in part on a worryingly low IMDb rating, I went into "Free Samples" with some hesitance, but to my surprise it ended up as the highlight of the Palo Alto International Film Festival for me in terms of sheer entertainment value. It reminded me a great deal of a Sundance favorite from a few years back, "Smiley Face" with Anna Faris, due both to its snarky but ultimately sweet sense of humor and the wonderfully expressive and funny things that lead actress Jess Weixler is able to so with her face and her delivery. It's the kind of quirky -- I think one may in fact be required by law to use that word when reviewing films like this -- comedy about not all that much that understandably will rub some viewers the wrong way, but it's executed with so much giddy confidence (especially for a first feature) that it had me from the first minute and held onto me for all of the rest. Director Jay Gammill mentioned at the Q&A that he's currently working on a second feature with the same screenwriter. I'm looking forward to it.

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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Quirky and fun

Author: Katherine Talley
13 May 2012

This is one of those indie type films I'm actually glad I watched. It's very quirky, and had those moments that made you stop and think. When it started, I had my doubts, but Jesse Eisenberg helped pull me into the story. It's also got some 'laugh out Ioud' moments and some 'laugh out loud about a minute later' moments when you actually process the hilarity of some of the dialogue. The cast is cool.I love the emergence of Jason Ritter, I think he's more talented than people give him credit for. I enjoyed seeing Jesse Eisenberg in a different type role and seeing Tippi Hedren in it was pretty cool too. There was one scene where I thought the comedy didn't work very well, but that's typical of most movies, I guess. Gammill and Beggarly make a good team, not sure if they're working on other stuff together, but there's definitely a market for these types of movies.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

535th Review: Nice small movie about honesty and ice-cream....

Author: intelearts from the big screen
6 April 2013

Free samples is what an indie movie should be: small, quirky interesting, more character than action - about real life rather than just imagination, and this is Free Samples. It's a film that requires little effort to enjoy but is full of little vignettes that leap off the screen.

All in all, I for one enjoyed this more than many big budget movies: the characters have something to say, the comedy is nicely observed, the camera is tight (even semi-documentary), it's well edited and well shot with a great sense of slacker pace about it and it has a charm of its own.

Seriously, a nice gentle comedy set sround one day of looking after an artificial ice-cream van (so free samples) with some vitriol in the exchanges - the whole thing come across as ten times more honest than most comedies and this is one I would warmly recommend.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Love Jess Weixler especially with Jason Ritter

Author: SnoopyStyle
10 December 2013

Jillian (Jess Weixler) has left Stanford law school and her boyfriend for a semester to try something new. Only she's no good at anything other than drinking. After a night of passout drinking, she has to give out free samples of ice cream from a food truck for a friend who is joining an intervention for her brother. She faces people with her acerbic wit and her pounding hangover.

I love Jess Weixler's sardonic personality. And it works great especially in the first half with Jason Ritter. They have a fun combative conversation. It's not so much with Jesse Eisenberg. She has more chemistry with Ritter.

The last half does stumble a little bit. Tippi Hedren is playing an interesting character but it's just too cliché. And when school friend Paula drops by, it hits that speed bump a little too hard. For that kind of coincidence, it could never maintain any believability.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I loved this film. Jess Weixler has wonderfully animated facial expressions

Author: dferguso44 from Windermere
29 August 2013

Pretty much, this film is about the wonderful, quirky Jess Weixler. When she acts opposite Tippi Hedren you see the full array of her facial expressions. The story doesn't move very fast, nor is there much of one, but if you like films like "Juno" then you should like this, although it's not in the same class as the aforementioned.

The somewhat vacuous storyline and the rather dull setting, IE a bashed up ice cream van in a sub-urban parking lot are non-the-less brightened up by the excellent Jesse Weixler.

If you like your movies full of action and special effects then forget this one.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Makes working in a crummy ice cream truck entertaining

Author: wardoscar from Nottingham, England
9 August 2013

'Free Samples' is not a masterpiece, but it's a simple, understated spark of quirkiness and brilliance, without doubt. Not only is it hard not to like this film, it's hard not to like the sarcastic, drop-out Jillian, played by Jess Weixler, who gives a faultless, genuine performance. One thing I find great is how we know nothing about Jillian initially, but we gradually learn more and more as she sells more and more ice-cream through the day. Jesse Eisenberg gives another cool performance of his and the ever-wonderful Tippi Hedren gives a brilliant touch to this delight.

This indie piece shows how so much can hit you throughout a day of serving chocolate or vanilla ice-cream samples. With subtle emotional input and very funny scenes, 'Free Samples' is a desert not to be turned down.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Anything Redeeming about any of the Characters?

Author: jahhdog from Canada
7 September 2014

I wanted to like this movie. I am a fan of many of the actors in the film but the problem wasn't them but the characters they were portraying...

I couldn't find anything to like about any of them... The characters all seemed like whiners to me... Oh my Dad is a big bad lawyer, my brother is an addict, I'm in a crappy band... I got a crappy cowboy hat! Why would you bother with the main character at all? Sure she is cute but she is also a mean bitch... She treats everyone like crap and then runs crying to someone else when she gets some bad news...

Stay away... Time waster...

5 howls outta 10...


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Too precious for its own good.

Author: mark blanchard from springville utah
8 December 2013

This one-set Indy tries very hard to be sharp and mordant and timely. The trouble is that nothing about the characters or their situations rings true. The main set is an ice cream truck located in what looks like a borderline ghetto where the heroine must give away free samples of chocolate and vanilla, nothing else. The workers and everyone in the neighborhood seem to already know that the pseudo ice cream is horrible. So what are they really doing there? In what alternate universe would this actually happen?

Apparently in the same universe where a self-absorbed Cali-blonde Stanford law student would be SHOCKED, SHOCKED I say, to learn that 5 years after she left home, her dad moved out and took up with a trophy bimbo. That evidently never happens in alternate universe Z, so of course it sends our heroine into a drunken tailspin where she must engage in contrived sardonic banter with every unlikely walk-on character who ambles by her pseudo ice cream truck. Sadly, none of these encounters feels more forced or contrived than the heroine's confrontation with her unwanted fiancée.

After 90 minutes of this I yearned to get back to our universe where Cheech and Chong would have a very good business plan for that ice cream truck working the ghetto and where all their customers' curious demands for "stamps" would make sense.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Delightful & complete

Author: zif ofoz from United States
1 November 2013

This flick is a privilege to see! It's a complete movie, no gaps, no uncertain scenes, no faulty characters. And it's just a simple - one day in the life of - type of story.

The main character 'Jillian' has reached a wall in her life and is at a loss on how to break through this barrier. She is asked by her friend 'Nancy' for a short favor. Jillian reluctantly agrees to help and in doing so learns a life lesson about herself and others that she believes to be her friends.

The greatest asset to this film is the fantastic dialog the actors expertly deliver and the smooth crisp editing! Even the little children briefly seen are at their best before the camera. And Tippi Hedron as Betty the aged and former movie star is just perfection!

I cannot praise this flick enough as I see it as quite perfect start to finish. Bravo Jay Gammill !!!

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Quirky and Enjoyable

Author: jacobson98 from Arlington, VA
4 September 2013

This is the definition of a "small" film - no car chases, no guns, relatively little action, lots of talking but somehow moving and enjoyable. The humor is chuckle rather than laugh out loud but the film keeps moving and is never boring. Perhaps best watched at home rather than in a movie theater with minimal distractions. Good acting, even in the smallest of parts, is the mainstay of this movie and the direction is subtle and relatively invisible. The movie is about a 20 something who has hit a roadblock and has literally dropped out of the life she was living. A day spent running a mobile custard stand somehow jolts our 20 something back to life. If you don't need explosions and special effects to enjoy yourself, consider investing 80 minutes in this fine little film.

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