Hall Pass (2011)

Hall Pass
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Strong sex scenes, sexual references, crude humour and nudity

Directors: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly
Actors: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Richard Jenkins, Stephen Merchant, Nicky Whelan

Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) are best friends who have a lot in common, including the fact that they have each been married for many years. But when the two men begin to show signs of restlessness at home, their wives (Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate) take a bold approach to revitalising their individual marriages: granting them a "hall pass," one week of freedom to do whatever they want... no questions asked. At first, it sounds like a dream come true for Rick and Fred. But it isn't long before they discover that their expectations of the single life-and themselves-are completely, and hilariously, out of sync with reality.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 105mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Low fidelity
by Simon Miraudo,

The Farrelly brothers’ Hall Pass suggests a few things about human nature (specifically of the y-chromosome owners) that are somewhat depressing in their truthfulness. Firstly: men are essentially hardwired to be animalistic, sex-crazed jerks; consumed entirely by their plight for instant gratification. Hard to argue against. Every male character in this film – from the henpecked husbands, to the swinging 60-year-old single dude played by Richard Jenkins, and even the heartbroken barista who flies off the handles in the final act – is driven purely by their need for sex. A depressing truth, but a truth nonetheless. The second “insight” made by Bobby and Peter Farrelly is equally insulting, but still kind of true: men can be fooled by even the most basic attempt at reverse psychology. For i...

The Farrelly brothers’ Hall Pass suggests a few things about human nature (specifically of the y-chromosome owners) that are somewhat depressing in their truthfulness. Firstly: men are essentially hardwired to be animalistic, sex-crazed jerks; consumed entirely by their plight for instant gratification. Hard to argue against. Every male character in this film – from the henpecked husbands, to the swinging 60-year-old single dude played by Richard Jenkins, and even the heartbroken barista who flies off the handles in the final act – is driven purely by their need for sex. A depressing truth, but a truth nonetheless. The second “insight” made by Bobby and Peter Farrelly is equally insulting, but still kind of true: men can be fooled by even the most basic attempt at reverse psychology. For instance, when the wives of horny Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) offer them one week off marriage to do and sleep with whomever they please, they expect the sudden freedom will terrify them, and send the boys running back into their loving embrace. The women are pretty much right on the money.

The third observation made in Hall Pass is that men look back on their single days with rose-tinted glasses, forgetting all the horror and awkwardness of the dating scene that they supposedly “gave up” for a life of boring matrimony and mortgages. Again, as a man, that is tough to dispute. Even I occasionally reminisce of teen parties in which I drank too much, flirted unsuccessfully with anyone in my general vicinity, got beaten by strangers whilst walking home and spent the next few days feeling sorry for myself in bed. Ah, to be single again.

But the Farrelly brothers’ are not expected to make films that point out the most obvious aspects of manhood, as if they were documenting them for some sort of scientific experiment. They are expected to make us laugh by lampooning the idiot nature of man, as they have done so successfully in the past with There’s Something About Mary (in which a batch of men obsess over a woman - that is, admittedly, perfect – despite barely knowing her) and their ironically genius attempt to reduce the essence of manhood to near-caveman idiocy in Dumb and Dumber. Even their last film, the unpleasant and misogynistic The Heartbreak Kid, traded in a similar currency, although it unfairly made the women the villains of the piece, when the male characters were already plenty vile.

Hall Pass, although in theory rather astute in pointing out the foibles of man, is light on the laughs. There is a great comedy to be made in which a couple of long-married men attempt to re-enter the dating scene, but this is not it. Sure, the moments featuring sex-guru Coakley (the always brilliant Jenkins) come close, as do the occasional sequences in which Rick and Fred take their similarly whipped buddies (J.B. Smoove, Stephen Merchant and Larry Joe Campbell) out on the town. But these supporting characters pop up only when convenient, and are sadly absent for much of the film’s runtime. Instead, we are left with a couple of mildly amusing vignettes that wouldn’t even feature in a listing of the brothers’ 25 funniest scenes.

What saves the movie is its depiction of the wives, Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate). Also enjoying a week-long Hall Pass of their own, they discover that they still have ‘it’, attracting the attention of an entire baseball team and their coach. Although Wilson and Sudeikis have some nice chemistry (as a fan of Saturday Night Live, I’m particularly glad to see Sudeikis score a headlining role), Fischer and Applegate bounce off one another even better. I can’t help but wonder if the film would be improved if flipped entirely on its head. Considering that the males here are all one-dimensional animals who aren't exactly fending off the ladies, perhaps it would have been more interesting to follow the much deeper trials of Maggie and Grace, who are genuinely tempted by infidelity.

But as it stands, the film is fine. There are enough laughs to warrant a viewing, and a particularly sweet and truthful speech given by Wilson towards the end is rather affecting (ignore the fact that it is delivered to a naked woman). As far as Farrelly brothers’ films go, this one feels particularly rough around the edges. The fact so many supporting characters are introduced and then unceremoniously dropped suggests a lot has been left on the cutting room floor; either they allowed a lot of improvisation or the shooting script was a touch too long. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a return to form, but after The Heartbreak Kid, they could have simply aimed the camera at the end result of Hall Pass’ most scatological sequence, and it would be considered an improvement.

3/5

Check out Simon's other reviews here.

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Member Reviews (82)

Stupid, slapstick, fart joke comedy... but then again, what else can you expect from the Farrelly brothers.
Posted Monday, 18 March 2013 See my other reviews
Margit
says
Funny!
Posted Thursday, 28 February 2013 See my other reviews
Stephanie
says
Happy I watched it although I didn't find it really funny. It was a great concept.
Posted Thursday, 6 December 2012 See my other reviews
I really didn't find it funny, it tried to be, but owen wilson and the other man guy both just looked really old and tired.
Posted Saturday, 1 September 2012 See my other reviews
juliekym
says
Funny.
Posted Monday, 18 June 2012 See my other reviews
Emily
says
This movie is awesome. Saw it at the cinema and added it to my queue so I could re-see it when released. Hilarious and the actors were great.
Posted Thursday, 7 June 2012 See my other reviews
Robyn
says
I enjoyed this movie especially being in the older bracket of age groups (in my 40's) I could relate quite well to some of the situations. Good comedy
Posted Friday, 13 April 2012 See my other reviews
diane
says
loved this movie so funny rate highly.i love anything with owen wilson big fan of his.
Posted Saturday, 24 March 2012 See my other reviews
MH
says
Love this movies funny, great actors
Posted Wednesday, 14 March 2012 See my other reviews
Vanessa
says
This was better than I expected. The ending wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be.
Posted Wednesday, 14 March 2012 See my other reviews
Larry
says
Amusing, but dragged down to gutter level by juvenile toilet humour!
Posted Monday, 12 March 2012 See my other reviews
messyhair
says
Dont bother. Rubbish!
Posted Tuesday, 28 February 2012 See my other reviews
Roz
says
Enjoyed it!
Posted Saturday, 11 February 2012 See my other reviews
Clint
says
Very funny!
Posted Saturday, 11 February 2012 See my other reviews
Desley Mac
says
Was a little worried at the start, but it picked up and was quite enjoyable. You got like Owen Wilson drawl though
Posted Thursday, 2 February 2012 See my other reviews
brian
says
funny
Posted Thursday, 2 February 2012 See my other reviews
Gerry G
says
A terrific concept for a movie and the trailers showed that line of thinking and expectation. What a let down. Dragged on and on and was filled with the 'typical bloke '. None of my male friends are so obsessed - and if they were they need help. Ordinary film.
Posted Friday, 27 January 2012 See my other reviews
Angela
says
Absolutely funny with the inner workings of relationships.
Posted Thursday, 26 January 2012 See my other reviews
Ros
says
good for a laugh, quite baudy, but lots of fun
Posted Thursday, 26 January 2012 See my other reviews
Alan
says
There were some funny moments, but mostly it was a silly, slow-paced farce interspersed with some incredibly gross scenes that added nothing to the humor or the plot.
Posted Wednesday, 18 January 2012 See my other reviews
butterflysexi
says
have funny moments but a few drag bits too.. 3stars out of 5
Posted Friday, 13 January 2012 See my other reviews
SunnyCoastGirl7
says
This movie was very ordinary. I thought I would laugh heaps in this movie and myself and my hubby laughed a couple of time but not hysterically. Don't waste your time to watch this movie.
Posted Thursday, 12 January 2012 See my other reviews
Andi
says
Very Funny !!
Posted Wednesday, 11 January 2012 See my other reviews
narelle
says
geez this DRAGGED and was quite unfunny after the first 20 minutes or so. really not worth your time unless I die hard Owen film (as I am, hence 2 stars and not 0.5)
Posted Monday, 9 January 2012 See my other reviews
shellyd61
says
Loved this - a funny, very entertaining move... the four main actors all played great roles... we really enjoyed this..
Posted Sunday, 8 January 2012 See my other reviews
sarah
says
I got a laugh out of it in some parts, others were just a bit boring. Would recommend though as a one off watch...
Posted Tuesday, 20 December 2011 See my other reviews
Anie
says
Started off so funny, but the second half was average, letting the movie down. Not as good as I thought it would be.
Posted Wednesday, 14 December 2011 See my other reviews
Coleen
says
Ok
Posted Tuesday, 13 December 2011 See my other reviews
Cass
says
Quite boring. We watched to the end, waiting for the laughs to start. We're still waiting.
Posted Thursday, 8 December 2011 See my other reviews
robertk
says
Disappointed as the plot is so predictable. The highlight was the segment inserted in the final credits so be sure to watch them. I also disliked Marley and Me so it looks like I will have to give Owen Wilson a miss.
Posted Monday, 5 December 2011 See my other reviews
LJ
says
Fun to watch!
Posted Monday, 21 November 2011 See my other reviews
sue
says
Very funny movie, if you like a laugh this is for you.
Posted Thursday, 17 November 2011 See my other reviews
Lisa
says
Not what we expected, was a little disappointed with the whole movie
Posted Tuesday, 15 November 2011 See my other reviews
loz83
says
So-so, had moments of comic brilliance, worth the watch, but wont add to the collection.
Posted Monday, 14 November 2011 See my other reviews
loretta
says
good movie very funny
Posted Friday, 11 November 2011 See my other reviews
Clinton
says
Good movie - funny
Posted Saturday, 5 November 2011 See my other reviews
Case
says
Not a fan of The Farrelly brothers but love Owen Wilson so gave it a shot. Liked it more than I thought I would, one real laugh out loud moment. Nice ending
Posted Friday, 4 November 2011 See my other reviews
CL-D
says
Vomit inducing twaddle.
Posted Tuesday, 1 November 2011 See my other reviews
Ann E.
says
Definately great easy watch comedy and you pick up on Owen Wilson's quirky sence of humour throughout! Not one how ever for family viewing as there are loads of adult themes, there are 'flat' spots in the storyline but 'what you see is what you get' an adult comedy and good viewing for the big kids! ! !
Posted Wednesday, 26 October 2011 See my other reviews
leigh898
says
Could have been a great comedy, very funny in parts, great concept but lame in other parts.
Posted Wednesday, 26 October 2011 See my other reviews
wifey83
says
this movie was rather funny. If you are married, then you can more than likely relate to the script and the funny one liners. I enjoyed watching this movie to see what unfolded and its not what you would expect! There is a happy ending but the journey along the way is great and the comedic element hits the spot. Very funny, enjoyable to watch. Highly recommend for a fun loving married couple or long term partners.
Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 See my other reviews
vixson
says
funny as laughed the whole time
Posted Tuesday, 18 October 2011 See my other reviews
NikkiJo
says
OMG my partner and I laughed nearly the whole way through this movie. We are the same age as the couples this movie focuses on so we could relate to it really well. Some parts were a little crud but still funny!! Not sure if the younger crowd will find it as funny but still a good watch :o)
Posted Sunday, 16 October 2011 See my other reviews
Yvonne
says
This was one of the funniest movies we have seen for awhile.
Posted Sunday, 16 October 2011 See my other reviews
Anne
says
Funny Funny Funny all the way
Posted Friday, 14 October 2011 See my other reviews
Lisa
says
Had some funny parts that had me laughing but I agree with Jay-Bee below
Posted Saturday, 8 October 2011 See my other reviews
jtbug
says
I really enjoyed this one. Lots of belly-laughs. Great to see the Farrelly Brothers make a decent film after so many flops.
Posted Wednesday, 5 October 2011 See my other reviews
Jay-Bee
says
Was funny in some parts but like most comedy movies these days the funniest parts are shown in the preview.
Posted Tuesday, 4 October 2011 See my other reviews
Tina
says
Very funny!!!
Posted Tuesday, 27 September 2011 See my other reviews
terese
says
loved it
Posted Tuesday, 27 September 2011 See my other reviews
Pfurball
says
I enjoyed this comedy with lots of sick visual gags that I still chuckled at. Very good.
Posted Friday, 23 September 2011 See my other reviews
DORIS
says
Very funny movie.
Posted Friday, 23 September 2011 See my other reviews
Liana
says
Think this movie deserves more stars than it has, especially if a pitiful movie like the Other Guys has the same star rating. Movie was enjoyable
Posted Monday, 19 September 2011 See my other reviews
30somethinggirl
says
A great movie for a relaxed night at home on the couch! Plenty of laughs for the guys and gals. Just don't watch it with your mother-in-law... a couple of full frontal nude scenes were uneccesary and a little cringeworthy!
Posted Monday, 19 September 2011 See my other reviews
Sheree
says
average movie
Posted Monday, 19 September 2011 See my other reviews
Penny Riekstins
says
Not a bad effort. Definitely some laugh out loud moments.
Posted Wednesday, 14 September 2011 See my other reviews
Boo
says
Couldn't even finish watching! this was so stupid, crass and sexist to boot! not funny, not clever and not witty
Posted Wednesday, 14 September 2011 See my other reviews
Lavinia
says
Funny movie. Loved the Hall Pass idea .... good to see that some guys can be *GOOD*.... good guys ROCK !!!! Lets see more more more good guys instead of sleeze please !
Posted Monday, 12 September 2011 See my other reviews
James K
says
Loved it, kept me laughing the entire time. Would highly rate this.
Posted Sunday, 11 September 2011 See my other reviews
Kelly
says
Very funny. We all enjoyed it.
Posted Friday, 9 September 2011 See my other reviews
sab
says
Excellent move, hubby and i really loved it and had a lot of laugh.
Posted Tuesday, 6 September 2011 See my other reviews
chillee
says
Not one of Owen Wilson's best. The story was not what I expected it to be about.
Posted Thursday, 1 September 2011 See my other reviews
d
says
surprisingly funny and with a bit more heart than I would have expected.
Posted Wednesday, 31 August 2011 See my other reviews
Lee
says
We LOVED this movie, it was very funny and relevant.
Posted Friday, 26 August 2011 See my other reviews
Bec
says
Not a bad movie - Owen Wilson has gotten more annoying as he's gotten older. I think this movie would have been way funnier if it was Jason Sedakis & Kevin James as lead roles
Posted Thursday, 25 August 2011 See my other reviews
Kim
says
Meh- expected more... I just don't find Owen Wilson funny.
Posted Thursday, 18 August 2011 See my other reviews
msmylie
says
hubbie and I laughed all the way through this one - would definitely watch it again
Posted Thursday, 18 August 2011 See my other reviews
Luke
says
Funny, but thats about it. some parts very funny. 2 stars
Posted Thursday, 11 August 2011 See my other reviews
Tan
says
Loved it, funny as! and True to our real lives!
Posted Wednesday, 10 August 2011 See my other reviews
Jill
says
I am NOT an Owen Wilson fan but I really liked him in this..i thought Fred (Jason Sudeikis) was not a good choice at all would have loved to have seen 'eg' David Spade play the friend he would have suited that role .. anyway this is somewhat quite 'crude' in parts but other than that good for a lot of laughs Christina Applegate suited being one of the wives but overall this movie was a lot better than what I expected it to be definetely not one for the 'kids'
Posted Wednesday, 10 August 2011 See my other reviews
puppys
says
hillarious, good fun, good laughs
Posted Wednesday, 10 August 2011 See my other reviews
Karen
says
definitely had a few loud laughs!!!
Posted Tuesday, 9 August 2011 See my other reviews
Ash
says
Very funny. Loved it.
Posted Monday, 8 August 2011 See my other reviews
Barb
says
Sure it was more for the guys but it did have quite a lot of funny bits to keep me interested, some of you reviewers need to lighten up.
Posted Sunday, 7 August 2011 See my other reviews
Matthew B.
says
Some real laugh out loud moments despite the predictability. Really good fun. More for the guys than the ladies. Definitely not for the kids!
Posted Saturday, 6 August 2011 See my other reviews
lisa
says
this is pretty much a guys movie didnt appeal to me but my husband thought it was funny
Posted Wednesday, 3 August 2011 See my other reviews
MrJBizkt
says
I remember laughing when the girl at the massage parlour rips back the curtain and shares the request of a rub and tug with everyone, but then the laughing stopped again..... because this movie sucked hardcore! Jason is funny as when he can drop an ad-lib but seemed as if he couldnt use his talents in this movie. Also they could not have said 'Hall Pass' enough in this movie apparently, just sayin...
Posted Sunday, 31 July 2011 See my other reviews
ICE
says
really bad, if looking for a laugh out loud film this is not 1. blokes dont bother with with it not made for us, its more for women to have a laugh. the male characters were really painful to watch
Posted Friday, 29 July 2011 See my other reviews
MK
says
This was a cracker of a movie..I didn't think it was going to be quite this funny but i was..Laughed throughout..
Posted Thursday, 28 July 2011 See my other reviews
AMC
says
as much as i like owen wilson this movie was horrible. Couldn't get to the end of the movie. Had to turn it off it was so painful to watch.
Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 See my other reviews
Mishka
says
Was quite funny, much better than the trailer made out.
Posted Saturday, 23 July 2011 See my other reviews
KPL
says
Not a bad movie. A few laughs. A few bad fake tans. Overall enjoyable.
Posted Wednesday, 20 July 2011 See my other reviews
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