Free Samples Review
By David Kempler
Free Would Be a Fair Admission Price
Jillian (Jess Weixler) is a recent attendee of Stanford Law School who has decided to take some time off in order to pursue a life in the arts. Unfortunately for her, she has no real discernible artistic talent. This leaves her a bit lost, but not in a way where she seems to be suffering all that much about it. She is as snarky as they come and every once in a while she does manage to fire off a cleverly obnoxious remark. More often, her comments are more obnoxious and less amusing.
Her friend Nancy (Halley Feiffer) has to attend an intervention for her older brother and she hooks Jillian into subbing for her at work. Work means sitting in an ice cream truck in a vacant parking lot, handing out samples to a series of oddballs. Jillian hands out both samples and
an endless array of bad attitude, which I suppose is meant to be comical but instead comes across as the musings of a spoiled brat.
Betty (Tippi Hedren) is the sole interesting person to walk across the screen and that is only because she is Tippi Hedren. Betty is a once-was actress who takes Jillian into her house and to flaunt her movie memories. During this scene we step out of "Free Samples" into a semi make-believe world consisting of a Tippi Hedren lookalike. It's all a bit much.
Jesse Eisenberg is a wisecracking, incredibly self-assured young man bent on winning the heart of Jillian. More likely he is looking to score, but director Jay Gammill wants us to believe that Eisenberg's character sees a real person in Jillian. In the last scene we are led to believe that perhaps there is hope for these two, but all I could think was that he better wise up soon before he is trapped with one of the most annoying and self-centered women I have ever seen. Then again, by then, I didn't care if one of them pulled out a gun and shot the other, just so we could attain some sort of entertaining conclusion.