The Farrelly Brothers (There’s Something About Mary) are back with Hall Pass. Releasing a film in a comedy landscape dominated by the likes of Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin), the Farrelly’s haven’t directed a film since 2007 major disappointment The Heartbreak Kid, and haven’t had a hit since Shallow Hal in 2001. So how does Hall Pass measure up?
I am happy to report that this is the best film the Farrelly’s have produced since Kingpin, and may actually be in the running for the funniest movie of their careers. There is absolutely no doubt that it is the raunchiest. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis star as two men who are given a week off from their marriages by their frustrated wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate). The plan is that after seven days of being constantly rejected by women, the men will stop acting like being married is a punishment.
Hall Pass makes excellent use of the casts’ talents. Amazingly, this is the first time in Wilson’s career that he is called on to play a fully functioning adult, and he does a fine job as the focus of much of the film. The true star of the movie, however, is Sudeikis. He plays Fred as a fortyish insurance salesman with an inner sixteen year old constantly trying to get out. At times you wonder why anyone would have married him in the first place, but he is definitely the comedic highlight of the film.
The film does have it’s problems, but they are mostly of the technical variety. There is a scene at the beginning of the movie where Wilson is showing his kids some pictures from his college days, and the Photoshop job done on these pictures is laughably bad to the point that I’m not sure if it was on purpose or not. It literally looks like someone took modern day head shots of Wilson and stuck them on Abercrombie models. Also, there are points during the film where I couldn’t help but notice that the script was laid out more like a sketch show than a movie.
I cannot recommend this highly enough. I have not laughed this hard in a theater in months, and from the looks of most of the trailers I have seen this year, it’s doubtful I will again this year. I realize you will see more than one negative review for this on other sites. Maybe if it had subtitles or something those other critics would have liked it better. I am telling you, just trust me this one time, and you won’t regret it.