Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Right of the bat I had some difficulty relating to this movie ‘Hall Pass’ from those purveyors of filthiness who call themselves The Farrelly Brothers. You see my wife would never give me anything remotely resembling a hall pass because I was Player Number One from way back. Know what I’m saying? The truth of the matter is my wife won the Christopher Lotto those many years ago because the request for my talents was plentiful and far-reaching. I’m talking from sea to shining sea. Do you hear me? I don’t know if you do. My wife knows if she gave me a week off from marriage the world supply of noxynol-9 would drop to close to ZERO. Right? Right? So it’s best for all involved that we keep the status quo for everyone in this household because… you know… know what I’m saying? You better ask somebody. Or not. Really, I’d prefer you not to ask anybody because chances they probably forgot what a player I used to be because it was a while ago. But the fact remains.

As the story goes Rick (Owen Wilson) is married to Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and the couple have a trio of adorable children. Rick’s best friend Fred (Jason Sudeikis) is married to Grace (Christina Applegate) and they have a Honda Odyssey mini-van. Both men love their wives and their families but they do tend to have a wondering eye when it comes to the occasional lady that passes by. For whatever reason this absolutely normal behavior upsets these women greatly, particularly Grace who through a couple of highly improbable events has witnessed firsthand the callousness and insensitivity that men tend to display when they think that no one watching.

Grace, feeling neglected and not very pretty anymore, takes the advice of some wacky psychologist (Joy Behar) and grants Rick a ‘Hall Pass’. A week off of marriage to do whatever the hell he pleases to get whatever it is that’s bothering him out of his system. Fred eventually gets one too… through… circumstance. The women take the kids, head up to the cape for the week and set the boys free to get buck wild.

So excited are the friends of these lucky guys, they want to witness firsthand the carnage they are about heap on an unsuspecting female public. After a couple of days of observing, these friends go home and watch TV. Though shaken by their extreme

lack of success, the men soldier on to more theoretically hilarious failures. The women on the other hand… it wasn’t their plan but the women find tracking down companionship outside of marriage not all that difficult which is the main reason a ‘Hall Pass’ for women would be unfair because all a woman really has to do is walk outside.

Even though things pick up and initial wishes are about to be granted, invariably both of our heroes will realize that the only thing that ultimately matters in their lives are those evil, hysterical hyenas that they’ve dedicated themselves to… until the end of time.

One thing about this movie ‘Hall Pass’ is that it’s almost 100 percent uncomfortable to sit through. You will squirm in your seat attempting to get away from some of the things that are going down in this film, but you will have nowhere to go. Unless of course you wait for the DVD then you can just fast forward. It is a Farrelly Brothers movie so a lot of this uncomfortable sleaze is expected but at times it seems even a bit much for them. And while the Farrelly Brothers have no doubt forgotten more about comedy than I’ll ever know, they still managed to violate Christopher’s First and Only Rule of Comedy, that being ‘Dookey Is Not Funny’. Remember comedy screenwriters, scatological humor is rarely, if ever, funny. Just don’t do it. Anyway, if you do rent this movie on DVD when the time comes and you were to fast forward past the uncomfortablness that that is prevalent in this film then you’ll miss the funny stuff in this movie. You see the first half of ‘Hall Pass’ was uncomfortable and pretty damned funny. Unfortunately the second half of ‘Hall Pass’ was just flat out uncomfortable.

It’s almost as if they just put the comedy brakes on. I can almost pinpoint when this movie stopped being funny and that’s around the time that J.B. Smoove, Steven Merchant and Larry Joe Campbell, who were playing the three friends, abandoned this movie leaving it in the hands Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis exclusively. I don’t know exactly why, I mean Owen Wilson can be funny and Jason Sudeikis is more a straight guy but he can be funny too, but that’s about the time this movie stopped being consistently funny. And by the end the movie lost all semblance of what little coherence it had to begin with.

Another semi-disturbing scene was an extended shot of this some naked dudes dick. Now looking at this guy’s dick wasn’t all that disturbing in of itself, even though it felt like the Farrelly Brothers were forcing me to look at it for an eternity, but what was disturbing was that it had me thinking about the audition process for such as scene. Admittedly this has nothing to do with anything but what do you do? Do you parade a bunch of naked dudes in and out of a room until you find one dick that meets your fancy? Are there portfolio shots you have to look at? How, exactly, would one phrase that ad for Variety? This is damned disturbing when I think about it.

Half funny, mostly tasteless, all squirm worthy uncomfortable is what you get with ‘Hall Pass’. Half funny is better than no funny, but I don’t know if half funny is actually worth sitting through the whole thing for this one.

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