Hall Pass high on gross-out but low on entertainment
- Murray Robertson
- 1 April 2011
Farrelly Brothers’ take on wife-sanctioned adultery is just unfunny
From its preoccupations with midlife crises and marital woes, it’s tempting to think that Hall Pass represents the Farrelly Brothers having grown up. Rest assured however, there are plenty of gross-out gags – culminating in what may be their nadir – but precious little else.
Best friends Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) are given a hall pass by their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate): a week off marriage to exorcise their roving eyes. Rather than indulge in their newfound freedom, the pair hook up and waste time with friends Gary (Stephen Merchant), Flats (JB Smoove) and Hog Head (Larry Joe Campbell).
This dragged-out equivocation saps the film of any momentum as the pair doss about, bemoaning the trappings of middle-aged family life: the agony, presumably, of having loving families, stable careers, and nice homes. Still, a frail-looking Wilson has enough charm to keep this above total ignominy.
Out now on general release.