The newest film from the Brothers Farrelly is yet another light comedy punctuated by crowd-pleasing moments of the grotesque. The writers/directors have pulled this off before to great effect in films like There’s Something About Mary and Stuck on You, the former of which will come to mind during one of Hall Pass‘s most humorous sequences, but the film ultimately falls prey to the familiar cliches of middle-aged comedies.
Owen Wilson and Saturday Night Live‘s Jason Sudeikis (playing the sort of second lead role that would have suited his co-star ten years ago) portray two married suburban everymen who spend a great deal of their time checking out younger women that are obviously beyond their reach. Things change when they are granted “hall passes” by their wives (The Office‘s Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate, suitably attractive as the wives of the film’s protagonist schlubs), which allow them to embark on a week’s worth of guilt-free sexual escapades. Unfortunately, their idea of a pickup spot includes the local Applebee’s and their excruciatingly clueless pickup lines are plucked right off of the internet. They are occasionally joined by a group of likable friends who ultimately feel underused as they include the brilliant J.B. Smoove (Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Extras‘ Stephen Merchant whose end credits dream sequence supplies some of the film’s biggest laughs. One need only watch the film’s trailer to guess the story’s resolution, but the ride there is often enjoyable especially for those who find excessive full-frontal male nudity humorous.
Hall Pass opens wide in Philly-area theaters today.
Author: Eric Bresler
Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of Cinedelphia.com whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.