While the advice of extending the shelf life of batteries through refrigeration may be a little dubious, the storage of film stock is a different story. Most does have an expiration date stamped on the protective casing, which generally means the manufacturer guarantees the quality of their product until that date. Expired film can still provide decent photographs for the average amateur photographer, but increased graininess does become a factor. Extending the life of most stock through refrigeration is actually a common practice among many professional photographers and is supported by the manufacturers' own literature.
The type of film generally sold for ordinary household use in standard cameras can remain viable for many years, as long as the protective wrapper remains intact and the cartridge is not exposed to extreme heat. Even stored at room temperature in a drawer, most consumer-grade cartridges should last at least as long as the photographer. The worst enemy for film is extreme heat, not cold. It can be stored in a refrigerator or even a freezer as long as it is brought up to room temperature before use. Condensation can be very problematic for the emulsion on film stock.
Some professional photographers do not recommend storing film in typical home refrigerators because they do not always control humidity very well. A smaller refrigerator used specifically for storage may be a better option. Film stored in this manner should remain in its original protective wrapper, but open rolls of 35mm could be stored in plastic storage containers. Containers should be labeled with an original storage date for better rotation. Like any other products stored in a refrigerator, it should be checked periodically for signs of mold or other contamination.
The actual amount of life extension one can expect from refrigerating stock is a matter of some debate. Some suggest that film behaves much like bread or coffee. It has a natural arc of freshness when purchased, but it can be preserved almost indefinitely if frozen or refrigerated properly. Others say that refrigeration doesn't guaranteed quality past the original expiration date, and the additional shelf life is negligible at best. Many photographers who buy film stock in batches tend to refrigerate only the batch mates of rolls which demonstrate superior emulsion qualities. Quality can vary widely from batch to batch, so it might pay to refrigerate stock from a particularly good production run. Other film may be stored at room temperature without much loss of quality.