Hall Pass Movie Review
admovieso | April 4, 2012 | No comments
Upcoming movie, “Hall Pass,” stars Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis as two married men, both around forty. They’re taking their last chance at playing the field in this new movie release. The directors of “Hall Pass,” the Farrelly Brothers, are obviously trying to live up to the rude comedy of their earlier years and this new movie is only occasionally funny.
The central theme of the movie – if given permission by your spouse to cheat, would you cheat – is the stuff of fantasy. The Farrelly Brothers can’t seem to decide if they should make a grownup movie with a satisfying message or just deliver the gross stuff for which they’re known. This means that “Hall Pass” is left somewhere in a mess in the middle. It looks like it might play better to women than to men, and overall, it’s not looking like a big moneymaker.
“Hall Pass” is written from the point of view of married, middle-aged men whose wives make believe they’re asleep rather than fool around with their husbands. Owen Wilson plays Rick, a guy with three young children which serves to make things worse. His buddy Fred, played by Jason Sudeikis, asks, in a movie clip, “Doesn’t it bother you that all of our wives’ dreams come true and ours don’t?” The real issue is that they, and their wives, Maggie, played by Jenna Fischer, and Grace, played by Christina Applegate, feel that they’re no longer desired or valued.
This is a universal theme of marriage and this movie picture tells you to appreciate what you’ve got in your marriage, rather than to look elsewhere. The Farrelly’s and writers, Pete Jones and Kevin Barnett, have come up with this gimmick: Maggie and Grace are sick of their husbands’ habit of staring at other women. They give the guys a “hall pass,” meaning they have one week to do whatever looks like fun to them with whoever looks like fun to them, during a week’s stay on Cape Cod.
Rick and Fred are thrilled but then can’t figure out what to do with their first night of freedom. They decide to take three of their most clueless friends with them and go to Applebees. Then they try to pick up women at a country club – pretty soon the audience is going to get the idea that the Farrelly Brothers are as clueless as Rick and Fred.
You get the idea that the Farrellys are getting desperate when they insert their first really outrageous scene – a bunch of naked guys in a Jacuzzi at a spa. The male genital close-ups are kind of a shock – but it’s what people expect from the Farrellys – especially those who’ve seen “There’s Something About Mary.” Then there’s bathroom humor about a drunken date’s inability to use the bathroom correctly.
Rick has decided by now, that Leigh is going to be the woman of his fantasies. She’s played by Nicky Whelan, who looks a lot like the Australian version of Brooklyn Decker. She’s a very friendly barista at his favorite coffee bar. Rick’s not so sure, once the chance arrives. Fred, in the meantime, is having problems of his own. The guys don’t know that their wives have been having some fun, too, on Cape Cod, with some minor league baseball players.
The action and comedy are spotty and the film has a really unfortunate homely look about it. New Line Cinema’s productions, since they were taken over by Warner Brothers, seem to have poor lighting or printing and the results are not good for the actor’s looks.
Wilson looks pale and out of shape. Audiences are going to wish for the Wilson they’ve seen in “Wedding Crashers.” Sudeikis, of Saturday Night Live fame, is energetic and enthusiastic. Fischer looks just like a good looking middle-class wife. It’s kind of hard to figure Applegate out and there aren’t many clues in this movie to help you out.