Synopsis: Best buddies Rick and Fred (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) have both been married for a long time. They love their wives, but, like some guys, just can’t help checking out every other woman who crosses their paths.
Fed up with this habitual rubber-necking, their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) take a bold approach to revitalize their marriages by granting their husbands a “hall pass”: one week of freedom to do whatever they want, no questions asked. Seven days to see exactly what it is out there they think they’re missing…or stop looking once and for all.
At first, it sounds like a dream come true for Rick and Fred. But they quickly discover that their expectations of the single lifeâand themselvesâare completely and hilariously out of sync with reality.
Release Date: February 25, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
A sneeze is just a sneeze, until the Farrelly Brothers’ have a hand in it. They continue their borderline obsession with male masturbation and oral pleasuring with a new spin on the pathetic and hilarious. The victims this time are Frank (Jason Sudekis) and Rick (Owen Wilson), two men who have been given a 7-day hall pass from marriage. Translation: they can do whatever they want, no questions asked and no consequences for an entire week. This is one hall pass they gladly accept but they just can’t seem to find the groove they expected. Rick and Fred have all sorts of plans for their week off and they try to successfully achieve what they desire but nothing seems to go as easily as they thought and the single life is not as desirable as it may seem. Their wives on the other hand find themselves having a great time, a foreseeable twist that thankfully gives the ladies more to do than just sit around wondering what their husbands are doing, and with whom. Hall Pass is a comedy and it does not try to make itself anything more than a pleasing diversion. The scenario keeps the pace of the film steady but the week feels very long. It’s possible one can only watch two men struggle for so long before the humor of the situation fades and abject reality creeps into its place. The Farrelly Brothers’ have supplied the desired humor with Hall Pass, they just let it slip too far in the end back to sentimental domesticity.
If you are familiar with the Farrelly Brothers’ previous work you know exactly what to expect with their brand of comedy. They love to self deprecate their characters, making them appear to undervalue themselves for the sake of the viewer’s enjoyment, or create characters who overvalue themselves only to find a harsh reality. Hall Pass is no different. The two main characters, Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudekis) are a couple of middle-aged married men who have lost touch with who they are as individuals and fallen into the routine of being a married man. When they are given their 7-day hall pass from marriage we find them trying to rediscover who they were before they were married and with often hilarious consequences. The use of the Law and Order sound effect (preview here) to separate the days only adds emphasis. Sudekis’ Fred is under the impression that he was at one time a ladies man and still has the ability to reel them in by the bunches. Wilsons’ Rick is a bit more soft around the edges and from his choice of attire is clueless when it comes to attracting the opposite sex–his Bruce Springsteen t-shirt may have been a babe magnet in the 1980s but today it is a joke in itself (my apologies to The Boss). These two very different men are set free on the women of today with one goal in mind, to get laid; what transpires is catastrophic and saddening but funny more times than not. They also have their group of male friends tagging along to “watch” the action, adding to the ridiculousness of the entire hall pass idea and showing just how much Fred and Rick have outgrown the lifestyle they craved to get back into.
Looking back on the Farrelly Brothers’ films (There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal, Kingpin) you find a great deal of the same humor here that has come before. Their penchant for sun-baked characters that make you laugh just by looking at them. The tried and true masturbation scenes, although taken to a whole new level of pitiful with Fred. Then there is always the one gross-out moment. A scene that makes you cringe imagining it happened and also from realizing this scenario was created in someone’s mind and put on paper. You will never look at the simple act of sneezing again the same way but it is worth it for the laughter you can’t help but let escape when the scene occurs. There are a majority of good, indecent laughs scattered throughout Hall Pass. The pairing of Wilson and Sudekis works well with their very different styles and comedic timing. Wilson handles his awkward penis encounter (yes, there is one of those too) like a comedy champ, and Sudekis is amusing with his various methods for use on women. It is not the strongest comedy and you really have to love this type of humor to find any sort of amusement from the film but if it suits your style then it is worth a watch.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Bobby FarrellyPeter FarrellyJ.B. Rogers
- Producer(s): Bradley ThomasCharles B. WesslerPete JonesPeter FarrellyKevin BarnettBob Farrelly
- Screenwriter(s): Owen WilsonAlyssa Milano
- Story: Jenna Fischer
- Cast: Christina ApplegateJason Sudekis Sam SeigMatthew F. Leonetti
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA