10 Items or Less (2006)

While I'm generally a fan of Morgan Freeman's work, 10 Items or Less is simply a dud. He stars opposite Paz Vega in this independent film from the Toronto Film Festival.

The premise is simple. Freeman is a washed up actor that is looking for a comeback in a low budget film. He heads on over to the local supermarket to gather material by watching the store's manager. While there, he takes an interest in the express lane's cashier, Scarlet, played by Vega. He sees that she is a step above the rest in the market, and learns that she is going for an interview at a construction company. The two embark on a limited journey to the local Target for clothes shopping, and a car wash to prepare for the interview. In this theater of the absurd style, we never see the interview or find out what happens.

10 Items or Less is a short 82 minutes, including the closing credits. Add in two extended musical scenes that don't further the story, and you start to realize that the plot is as thin as a college YouTube video. Freeman does a good job, but except for a few short scenes, like when he argues with his driver that he didn't do the opening voice over for the film Titanic, or how affordable the prices are in Target, it doesn't add up to anything in the end. The characters are not changed for the experience, and the audience doesn't get moved anywhere. Overall, the film is about as exciting as watching Freeman pick up his dry cleaning on his daily errands.

With a better screenplay, this film should have been better developed, and provided a more satisfying experience. In its current form, it feels like a half hearted effort, and I would recommend that you express lane this one by. 10 Items or Less either needs to be better developed into a more complete story, or chopped down into a short film, but it's not worth viewing in its current form.

Overall Grade: D

Reviewed by Jonas

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