Though its premise seems ripe for a high-concept studio yukfest, "The Freebie" is all the better for its low-budget, human-scale approach. This engaging, nicely observed look at a 30ish L.A. couple who allow each other a one-night stand to help reheat their 7-year-old marital bed moves quickly and simply, staying conscientiously on track until an intriguing finale that effectively upends what may — or perhaps may not — have come before.
As Annie and Darren, the domestically blissful if sexually stumbling mates, Katie Aselton (who also directed) and Dax Shepard (TV's "Parenthood") create such a wonderfully natural and warmly connected couple, you want to scream "don't do it" when the pair hatch their ill-conceived sex dare inspired by some provocative dinner party chatter. They know it's a bad idea too, but because it's a movie, Annie and Darren must move forward with their sex-periment. The results are alternately expected and surprising — and always involving.