Freeloaders (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Freeloaders</strong> (2012)

(On Cable TV, January 2014) I have some affection for dumb comedies, and that sometimes translates into a satisfied shrug to describe a film that’s objectively bad. So it is with Freeloaders, an unchallenging comedy about a group of moochers forced to move out of a Los Angeles house when their rock-star host decides to sell his home and move to New York. A few episodic sequences ensue, followed by a tackled-on ending that the protagonists don’t really have to work for. Structurally, the script is a mess and the characters barely deserve any sympathy. But if you’re in the mood for this kind of comedy, Freeloaders fits expectations: It’s not meant to be smart, but it has a few celebrity cameos (Olivia Munn has an unflattering walk-on, Denise Richards only has to be nice, while Richard Branson is asked to look bemused) and The Counting Crows’s Adam Duritz, who also produced the film- is the house owner being so kind to the titular freeloaders, ends up concluding the film with a spirited performance of “Hanginaround” that you will be humming for days. Freeloaders features actors doing their best at being likable and lays on the jokes until a few of them sticks. Dave Foley is most remarkable in a heavily self-deprecating role as himself, while Jane Seymour gets a few laughs as a high-powered real estate agent. Otherwise, it’s a bunch of cheap jokes and irresponsible behavior that make up most of the film, with a few ill-advised romantic moments meant to bloat the film up to 77 minutes. Still, it has a bit of charm and charm is often enough to make a difference in low-budget, low-wit comedies. Freeloaders will make you grin if that’s what you’re looking for, but it’s worth remembering that it’s not going to be a particularly good film and that better comedies are likely to be available from the exact same sources that will rent, show or stream this film.

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