Hall Pass_1

The Reel Deal

HALL PASS

A Reel Deal Film Review

Film Insight by Tyler Malone

March 2011


Reel Rating: 2.5 out of 5

“A PASSING GRADE?”

The Farrelly Brothers gave us two of the best and most iconic comedies of 90s: Dumb and Dumber, a movie criminally underappreciated by critics, and There’s Something About Mary, what many call the quintessential 90s comedy. For those films, I will be forever grateful. I’d say the Farrellys gave us Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller at their comedic bests, except for the fact that I am partial to the Stiller-directed, Carrey-starring, Cable Guy. I know I’m in the minority on that one–so sue me

Since Me, Myself & Irene in 2000 though, the brothers haven’t been on their A-game, to say the least. I won’t call this movie a return to form, but Hall Pass does showcase the brothers back in their groove–their dirty, foul-mouthed, explosive-shitting groove.

The film focuses on two couples–one played by Owen Wilson and Jenna Fischer, the other by Jason Sudekis and Christina Applegate–that are at that point in a marriage that every single person fears: when a wife pretends she’s asleep to avoid sex and a husband spanks it in the car to satisfy his needs.

Solution? Joy Behar, in a small role as the female friend and mentor of Fischer and Applegate, recommends a “Hall Pass,” aka a week off marriage for their husbands who can’t stop looking at the hot ass that is constantly walking by. In this week, anything is allowed. It’s not cheating because they’re not technically married. This is the perfect dubious set-up for the Farrelly brothers to do their thing.

Everything present in the classic Farrelly films is present here–the gross-out humor, the cheesiness, the “perfect” girl that seems worth chasing after, the seducing by an older lady, the crazy characters that all of a sudden have guns and start shooting–but the whole thing just isn’t up to the caliber of a There’s Something About Mary. The characters aren’t as memorable, the predicaments seem a little too contrived, many of the jokes fall flat, and the cutesy, bourgeois ending can be guessed from a mile away.  But even if on the whole the movie makes you cringe a little bit–and I’m not even talking about the explosive shit scene–I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of parts that have you laughing like a middle school kid.

Bottom line: Sure, this is not comedic gold, but it is miles above the average Adam Sandler schlock-fest that we are forced to endure on a yearly basis.

Hall Pass is a film directed by The Farrelly Brothers, and written by The Farrelly Brothers, Pete Jones and Kevin Barnett. It stars Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate and Jenna Fischer. A married man is granted the opportunity to have an affair by his wife. Joined in the fun by his best pal, things get a little out of control when both wives start engaging in extramarital activities as well.

LINKS:

Official Site: Hall Pass

IMDb: Hall Pass

Written by Tyler Malone

Photography Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Design by Marie Havens

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