Guest Movie Review: Free Enterprise

imageBy Eli Sanchez
Guest Contributor
Silver Screen Capture

Robert Meyer Burnett’s Free Enterprise (A-) is essentially a romantic comedy about nerds in love. The film follows two would-be film impresarios/Star Trek geeks Robert and Mark, who attack ennui head on as they struggle to accept the advent of turning 30 and having little to show for it. Robert (Rafer Weigel) is a free-spirited womanizer who has a hard time showing up for his demeaning film editing job, while Mark (Eric McCormack), his uptight sidekick who writes for a sci-fi magazine, is constantly seeking romance but finds most of his love interests big letdowns. This is mainly the plot until they both run into their idol William Shatner (as himself) cruising the porn magazine section at a local bookstore, and then the story takes off. Shatner is trying to get a one-man version produced of Julius Caesar; and of course both of these guys think their idol isn’t the man they idolized: “Separate the art from the artist” as Mark is fond of saying. The film weaves in and out of Los Angeles locales while mixing random fanboy quotes throughout the film. You’ll find yourself cracking up because sometime in your life, and probably in your 20’s, you probably hung out in a comic book store hoping to pick up a love interest into the same things you are. The film covers moments from Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run and Star Wars; and of course it helps to have a somewhat encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek: The Original Series just to get some of the jokes. The film definitely appeals to the later Generation X’ers out there still trying to find their place in the world.

Note: The film has mainly achieved cult status through cable releases. The film had a very short theatrical release and currently is only available on DVD. An “extended” version of the film is available which actually has an extended Logan’s Run dream sequence completed with upgraded special effects. There has been a small grassroots effort to have a sequel made, but nothing more has surfaced.

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I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 1999, Eli Sanchez

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