Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Hall Pass

Grade: F

Rick has been married to his wife, Maggie, since college. The two are happily married and have two kids. Unfortunately, things have been lacking in the sex department lately and Maggie, taking some advice a friend gave her, decides to give Rick a hall pass, a week off from marriage where he can do anything he wants, consequence free. His best friend, Fred, manages to get the same deal from his wife and joins him in the fun. The two spend the week attempting to pick up women and getting in a lot of trouble doing so. Things quickly get out of control. Meanwhile, their wives are taking advantage of the “hall pass” themselves.

Hall Pass is the latest movie from the Farrelly Brothers (Fever Pitch, Stuck on You) who, unfortunately, haven’t made a single funny movie since Dumb and Dumber or maybe Kingpin. The humor in this movie is so extremely low brow and bad that it is not funny to anyone who has hit puberty. This creates a bit of a problem because the movie is rated R, so it’s intended for people over the age of 17, but the humor is aimed at 7 year olds. Lots of really bad and unfunny poop and fart jokes. The main problem is that they have had the same brand of humor, the same outrageous jokes, in all of their movies but it works a lot better when the characters are essentially cartoon characters, like in Dumb and Dumber or Kingpin, rather, they have characters in this movie who are supposed to be real people doing insanely stupid things. All of the characters are pretty unlikeable people, as they all seem so desperate to cheat on their spouses. There are one or two mildly entertaining, borderline funny, moments that are more social satire rather than full on jokes, which I enjoyed. However, overall, I seriously can’t believe how unfunny and rather stupid this movie was, I’m really just trying to get that point across. In fact, the only time I really laughed was during a scene AFTER the credits.

Owen Wilson (How Do You Know, Marley and Me) plays the lead role of Rick. I really used to like Owen Wilson back in movies like The Big Bounce and Armageddon but lately I just haven’t been enjoying many of his movies. Either way, he did a decent job in the movie but it was just bad writing. Jason Sudeikis (Going the Distance, TVs SNL) played the role of Fred, Rick’s best friend. He can usually be very funny but in this movie his character only had a couple mildly funny moments scattered throughout. Jenna Fischer (Walk Hard, TVs The Office) plays Maggie, Rick’s wife. Fischer is always great and can be very funny but they didn’t give her the opportunity in this movie. Christina Applegate (Going the Distance, The Rocker) plays Grace, Fred’s wife. She had her moments in the movie but in the end turns out to be one of the more unlikeable characters. The movie also features Nicky Whelan, Richard Jenkins, Larry Joe Campbell, Alexandra Daddario, Joy Behar and more.

Hall Pass is an unfunny and often uncomfortable and disgusting movie. I really didn’t enjoy this movie and I honestly blame it on the writers/directors The Farrelly Brothers. I was hoping this movie would be decently funny and entertaining, but it turned out to be neither. I suggest you take your “hall pass” and avoid this movie.

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