The Globe and Mail interviews filmmaker Katie Aselton, who wrote, directed, co-produced, and starred in The Freebie, a film about a couple whose relationship lacks the spark it once had when it comes to sex. To rekindle that spark, they agree that they can each have a one-night stand with no repercussions. Of course, there are repercussions.
The GM‘s Zosia Bielski and Aselton talk about open marriages and the difference between the those and a one-time infidelity and all the rules that go into setting the limits for sexual encounters outside the marriage. There is no discussion of ethics or morality or the wisdom of sex outside the marriage bed, as apparently both the paper and the filmmaker have moved beyond being judgemental. Indeed, Aselton denies the film is a “cautionary tale” because it is “just a story of these two people.” The problem, she says, is that the couple is “overly confident and arrogant [and] think they’ve evolved enough to take this on,” leaving he possibility that some couples are “evolved enough” to make a mutually agreed-upon one-night stand benefit the marriage. Bielski and Aselton don’t even entertain the possibility that the morality of extra-marital sexual relations might speak to the difficulty of escaping the outside-marriage sex unscathed; in other words, there is a reason that monogamy has been esteemed as an ideal through generations in Western culture, and it is not only because it is good and beautiful and virtuous, but that is helps men and women avoid the pain of betrayal.