Free Samples

A touching cameo turn by Tippi Hedren is the sole benefit of "Free Samples," a pathetically inept comedy-drama about a hungover law-school dropout's humiliating stint in a Los Angeles ice-cream truck.

With:
With: Jess Weixler, Halley Feiffer, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Tippi Hedren, Wendy Shapero, Keir O'Donnell, Whitney Able, Jocelin Donahue.

A touching cameo turn by Tippi Hedren is the sole benefit of “Free Samples,” a pathetically inept comedy-drama about a hungover law-school dropout’s humiliating stint in a Los Angeles ice-cream truck, from which she offers vanilla and chocolate soft-serve to various unfunny eccentrics. Despite the presumed efforts of 15 credited exec producers and co-producers, as well as Jesse Eisenberg’s brief appearance as a Stetson-sporting suitor named Tex, director Jay Gammill’s debut feature looks and sounds like a student project. Never mind a sale of this underfunded indie, as “Free Samples” would have a hard time giving itself away.

As would-be heroine Jillian, Jess Weixler (“Teeth”) scowls unappealingly through the bulk of the pic, perking up only in scenes opposite Hedren as an aged actress who, using ski poles as crutches, stops by for a chocolate sample and ends up telling her life story. Pic is arguably less excruciating in dramatic scenes, as when Jillian confronts her former beau (Keir O’Donnell), who’s expecting a child with his new g.f. Splotchy widescreen videography looks almost low-def; sound mix is bumpier than a rocky road.

Free Samples

Production: A Film Harvest presentation, in association with New Forum Films. (International sales: Preferred Content, Los Angeles.) Produced by Joseph McKelheer, Eben Kostbar. Executive producers, Michael Potts, Nick Mystrom, Kevin Iwashina. Co-executive producers, Mark Gould, Eric Kramer, John Madden, Tony Mayer, Bill Rothacker, Martin Schmitz, Robert Unger, Michael Van Gilder, Richard Wham. Co-producers, Cory Knauf, Jay Gammill, Jim Beggarly. Directed by Jay Gammill. Screenplay, Jim Beggarly.

Crew: Camera (color, HD, widescreen), Reed Morano; editors, Franklin Peterson, Gammill; music, Eric Elbogen; production designer, Jefferey Givens; art director, Julie Ziah; costume designer, Alisha Silverstein. Reviewed at Tribeca Film Festival (Spotlight), April 20, 2012. Running time: 80 MIN.

Cast: With: Jess Weixler, Halley Feiffer, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Tippi Hedren, Wendy Shapero, Keir O'Donnell, Whitney Able, Jocelin Donahue.

More Scene

  • 'SORRY TO BOTHER YOU'

    Why 'Sorry to Bother You' Director Boots Riley Thinks His Satirical Comedy Is 'Realistic'

    A touching cameo turn by Tippi Hedren is the sole benefit of “Free Samples,” a pathetically inept comedy-drama about a hungover law-school dropout’s humiliating stint in a Los Angeles ice-cream truck, from which she offers vanilla and chocolate soft-serve to various unfunny eccentrics. Despite the presumed efforts of 15 credited exec producers and co-producers, as […]

  • Tesse Restaurant Opens on L.A.'s Sunset

    Tesse Restaurant Takes on the Challenge of Making the Sunset Strip Hip Again

    A touching cameo turn by Tippi Hedren is the sole benefit of “Free Samples,” a pathetically inept comedy-drama about a hungover law-school dropout’s humiliating stint in a Los Angeles ice-cream truck, from which she offers vanilla and chocolate soft-serve to various unfunny eccentrics. Despite the presumed efforts of 15 credited exec producers and co-producers, as […]

  • Tiffany Haddish

    MTV Movie and TV Awards: The 10 Standout Moments

    A touching cameo turn by Tippi Hedren is the sole benefit of “Free Samples,” a pathetically inept comedy-drama about a hungover law-school dropout’s humiliating stint in a Los Angeles ice-cream truck, from which she offers vanilla and chocolate soft-serve to various unfunny eccentrics. Despite the presumed efforts of 15 credited exec producers and co-producers, as […]

  • Michael B. Jordan

    'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Reign at 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards (Full List)

    A touching cameo turn by Tippi Hedren is the sole benefit of “Free Samples,” a pathetically inept comedy-drama about a hungover law-school dropout’s humiliating stint in a Los Angeles ice-cream truck, from which she offers vanilla and chocolate soft-serve to various unfunny eccentrics. Despite the presumed efforts of 15 credited exec producers and co-producers, as […]

  • Brandon Flynn, Timothy Granaderos, Alisha Boe,

    Alisha Boe Says Brock Turner Case Was Her 'Bible' for '13 Reasons Why' Season 2

    A touching cameo turn by Tippi Hedren is the sole benefit of “Free Samples,” a pathetically inept comedy-drama about a hungover law-school dropout’s humiliating stint in a Los Angeles ice-cream truck, from which she offers vanilla and chocolate soft-serve to various unfunny eccentrics. Despite the presumed efforts of 15 credited exec producers and co-producers, as […]

  • Yara ShahidiMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    Yara Shahidi, Noah Schnapp, More Talk the Dangers of Social Media at MTV Awards

    A touching cameo turn by Tippi Hedren is the sole benefit of “Free Samples,” a pathetically inept comedy-drama about a hungover law-school dropout’s humiliating stint in a Los Angeles ice-cream truck, from which she offers vanilla and chocolate soft-serve to various unfunny eccentrics. Despite the presumed efforts of 15 credited exec producers and co-producers, as […]

  • A Night in the Writers' Room

    'Vida,' 'One Day at a Time' Showrunners Recount Being Called Racial Slur in Writers' Room

    A touching cameo turn by Tippi Hedren is the sole benefit of “Free Samples,” a pathetically inept comedy-drama about a hungover law-school dropout’s humiliating stint in a Los Angeles ice-cream truck, from which she offers vanilla and chocolate soft-serve to various unfunny eccentrics. Despite the presumed efforts of 15 credited exec producers and co-producers, as […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content