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A Return To Adolescense In Hall Pass | by J. P. Langston

02/26/11 | by JP | Categories: Films

“Hall Pass” is no chick flick; it’s just right for a guys’ night out. The Farrelly brothers are back with Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis and Christina Applegate in the comedy, "Hall Pass."

Follow up:

HALL PASS
Warner Bros.
MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use.

Starring: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Richard Jenkins and Christina Applegate
Directed by: Peter and Bobby Farrelly
Screenplay by: Pete Jones & Peter Farrelly & Kevin Barnett & Bobby Farrelly, story by Pete Jones
Produced by: Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly, Bradley Thomas, Charles B. Wessler
Executive Produced by: Marc S. Fischer, Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener and Merideth Finn

Studio 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 life—and themselves—are completely and hilariously out of sync with reality.

A new comedy from the Farrelly brothers, "Hall Pass" stars Owen Wilson as Rick and Jason Sudeikis as Fred. Jenna Fischer stars as Rick's wife, Maggie; Richard Jenkins as the guys' old friend and perpetual bachelor, Coakley; and Christina Applegate as Fred's wife, Grace.

"Hall Pass" is directed and produced by Peter Farrelly & Bobby Farrelly, from a screenplay by Pete Jones & Peter Farrelly & Kevin Barnett & Bobby Farrelly, story by Pete Jones. Re-teaming with the Farrellys are producers Bradley Thomas and Charles B. Wessler and executive producer Marc S. Fischer, who collaborated with the Farrellys on their hit comedies "There's Something About Mary" and "Shallow Hal." Also serving as executive producers are Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener and Merideth Finn, with co-producers Mark Charpentier and John Rickard.

The creative filmmaking team includes director of photography Matthew F. Leonetti, production designer Arlan Jay Vetter, editor Sam Seig and costume designer Denise Wingate. Tom Wolfe and Manish Raval are the music supervisors.

A New Line Cinema presentation of a Conundrum Entertainment Production, a Farrelly Brothers Movie, "Hall Pass" will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


(L-r) LARRY JOE CAMPBELL as Hog-Head, JASON SUDEIKIS as Fred, OWEN WILSON as Rick, STEPHEN MERCHANT as Gary and JB SMOOVE as Flats in New Line Cinema's comedy "HALL PASS," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Peter Iovino.

J.P.'s Take:
It is assumed that most married men are living the perfect life: you know they have the house, the car, the dream career, the beautiful wife, and maybe kids. Well, that’s all fine until you’ve been married so long that you start to notice something’s missing in your relationship. Oh, that’s right…the romance. Here’s the story of Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis), two good friends living the suburbanite lifestyle. While they love their wives, the two husbands are looking for more as they, for instance, are checking out other women. However, their respective relationships come into question when the wives Grace (Christina Applegate) and Maggie (Jenna Fischer) query best friend Dr. Lucy (The View’s Joy Behar) about their husbands’ behaviors. Dr. Lucy suggests giving them a hall pass, which basically gives them a free opportunity to soil their oats for at least a week. OH NO! Here we go.

What you'll find in “Hall Pass”is the Farrelly brothers’ imagination running rampant once again. Robert and Peter Farrelly (“There's Something About Mary,” “Dumb and Dumber”) -- known for their comical view of the disabled, as well as life’s crazy little nuances – attempt to strike a funny bone with this little social commentary about married life from a male’s point of view.

Like a pack of wild dogs, Fred and Rick -- along with wing men Hog-Head (Larry Joe Campbell), Gary (Stephen Merchant), and Flats (Jerry “J.B. Smoove” Brooks) -- freely roam the streets and bars to see if they still have what it takes to pick up women. However, in the process, they discovered how much the pickup game has changed over the years. A midlife crisis is the underlying theme as you have these men nearing their 40’s trying their best to turn back the hands of time to which they become pubescent hormone driven youngsters. I believe that’s good reason as any to laugh at their misfortunes while trying to keep up with the 20 and 30-somethings.

So, what can you expect from a film like this? Well, not a whole lot … except for the abundance of masculine-themed potty humor. For instance, the men take a trip to the golf links on their first day out -- wife free. Gary brings some brownies laced with (I think you can figure that one out on your own), and needless to say, they break out into hysterics, talking gibberish, laughing at nothing, and so on. There is even a scene where one of the characters uses the sand barge at the golf course for his personal release spot. Potty humor for sure.

Sex talk is another theme in the film. It’s all fairly mundane, yet in Farrelly Bros. fashion, they find a way to inject some vivid luridness into the dialogue. One example, the guys were at Rick’s place for a poker game and the subject of what to do with a woman if they had the chance. As the question goes from one guy to the next, the original meaning of the question changes. By the time it came around to Rick, it is restructured as “If you could have any woman in the world what would you paid to have your way with her?” Rick’s response after shying away from the question, “What wouldn’t I pay.” You kind of get the picture.


(L-r) JENNA FISCHER as Maggie and CHRISTINA APPLEGATE as Grace in New Line Cinema's comedy "HALL PASS," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Peter Iovino.

Also, to the credit of the Farrelly’s, they manage to go for shock value once again. While most people won’t be shocked by the full frontal male nudity, there is one scene that involves a woman who had an upset stomach. I won’t spoil it too much, but you’ve heard of projectile vomiting, well she does the opposite. It’s pretty much the film’s grossest moment.

If it wasn’t for the likable cast, I don’t think “Hall Pass” would have received barrels of laughs that I experienced with the preview audience I saw it with. Out of the cast, the real stand out is Richard Jenkins (TV’s Six Feet Under) as Coakley, a friend of Rick and Fred, who serves as the pack’s fairy godfather. His word is the gospel to the guys when it comes to figuring out the subtle characteristics that suggest certain women want sex more than others. Along with the guys, the women in the film have their moments as well. They, too, find out a few things about themselves and why they should value their relationships with their husbands.

“Hall Pass” isn’t a movie I feel many women would like. Men would love it. To me, for all it’s worth, “Hall Pass” dishes out a good amount of belly laughs, with some hidden truths underneath the comedy. I laughed pretty hard, and with a comedy like this that’s all that counts.

_________________________________________________________________

J.P. Langston is a member of "Sidewalks Entertainment" team primarily as a videographer. He loves movies, especially sci-fi horror and action comedies. Some of his favorite films include "Blade Runner" "The Matrix Trilogy," The (original) "Star Wars," "Equilibrium," "Serenity," "Kill Bill Vols 1 and 2," "Appleseed," "Unbreakable" and "Sin City." He has a large DVD collection, which is still growing. Since reviewing films for "Sidewalks," he has been expanding his palette for all types of films.

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