What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Freeloaders is an over-the-top comedy from Broken Lizard, the troupe behind Super Troopers, Club Dredd, The Babymakers, and more. The group's brand of humor is vulgar and simpleminded, with lots of sexual content and very strong language (including "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," and much more). One scene, in which a porn movie is shot, particularly stands out, with female toplessness, simulated sex, naked male bottoms, and heavy innuendo and sex talk; another scene briefly shows full-frontal male nudity. The main characters drink beer regularly and smoke pot in one long scene. No one appears to have any addictions or drug-related troubles, but there's a joke about drug dealing. There's some arguing, and a brief shot of fighting during a party. Enthusiasm over Broken Lizard's movies seems to have died down in the past decade, so it's unlikely that many teens will be interested.
What's the story?
In Hollywood, a group of "freeloaders" -- Dave (Josh Lawson), Emma (Zoe Boyle), Benny (Kevin Sussman), Fritz (Nat Faxon), Trane (Warren Hutchinson), and Vic (Clifton Collins Jr.) -- have all been crashing at a mansion owned by singer Adam Duritz (of Counting Crows) for years. When Adam announces that he's getting married and selling the mansion, the freeloaders must either find new places to live -- which is unlikely -- or raise a pile of cash to buy the mansion themselves. With a vicious harpy of a real estate agent, Carolyn (Jane Seymour), breathing down their necks, time is running out quickly. Things get even more complicated when Dave falls for Carolyn's assistant, Samantha (Brit Morgan). Can these misfits keep from becoming homeless?
Is it any good?
Directed by Dan Rosen, FREELOADERS is an example of lazy filmmaking. Attempts to stretch into outrageous comedy feel forced and desperate, while -- conversely -- attempts to add romance and character development feel equally forced and desperate. It feels as if the movie didn't have the courage to choose one direction or the other. It could have either been entirely outrageous or much sweeter, but instead it tries to please a wide range of viewers and ends up pleasing none.
Most of Freeloaders' situations rely on stupidity or discomfort, such as Duritz's new in-laws accidentally walking into a porn shoot; none of it would feel out of place in a terrible TV sitcom. Whatever's left is given over to celebrity appearances, such as Dave Foley (who joins the freeloaders), Denise Richards, Garrett Morris, or Duritz himself. Of course, it's entirely possible to make a smart comedy out of stupid characters, but Freeloaders is not that comedy.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Freeloaders' sexual content. What's supposed to be funny about the porn movie shoot? Could the movie have worked without that sequence?
What would make these "freeloaders" stay put for so long? What's appealing about their situation? What's bad about it?
Does the movie make a celebrity lifestyle look appealing? What's different or unique about the celebrities shown in the movie? Are they happy?
How does the movie portray drinking and drug use? Are there any realistic consequences?