• FILM

  • SEARCH FOR

Hall Pass

Hall Pass

Directed by Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly. Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Nicky Whelan. (2011, R, 98 min.)

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., March 4, 2011

The Farrelly brothers have always been hit or miss, but when they hit – in There’s Something About Mary or the underrated Stuck on You – their signature raunch is sweetly tempered by daffy high-spiritedness. But there’s nothing but bottom-feeding in Hall Pass’ cynical, tin-eared attempts to make comedy out of the seven-year-itch: Its ugh-ing offensiveness may begin with the unsophisticated, “Har, it’s a schlong!” humor, but it ends with the unendurable tedium of flat-footed plotting and shudderingly antiquated ideas about gender relations. Wilson plays Rick, a pleated-pants soccer dad with a roving eye; when his wife, Maggie (The Office’s Fischer), becomes fed up with his horndog leering, she gives him a weeklong “hall pass” from their marriage, freeing him to leer, or even cheat, to his heart’s content – the theory being that he’ll get it all out of his system and return to family life with renewed vigor. Wilson – who is so much better than this it hurts the heart a little – is a zero, a barely there bore in a film he ostensibly headlines. That, I suppose, is an improvement over co-star Sudeikis’ subzero toxicity: As another husband enjoying a week off, Sudeikis does the heavy lifting in terms of the film’s aggressively off-putting foulmouthedness. A caricature at best, but a cartoon buffoon more regularly, Sudeikis makes a poor foil for Wilson and an even worse catchphrase-trademarker (the film tries ad nauseam – emphasis on the nausea – to make a cunnilingus gag about “fake chow” catch on). Hall Pass bears all the narrative finesse and visual pizzazz of an According to Jim episode, only dun-colored with fecal propulsives tapped not once but twice for punchline value. Cruel to its women characters and careless with its men (it doesn’t even try for audience empathy), Hall Pass has half the right idea: Scratch out “Hall,” and just … pass.

READ MORE
More Bobby Farrelly Films
Dumb and Dumber To
They're ba-ack!!!

Marjorie Baumgarten, Nov. 21, 2014

The Heartbreak Kid
Ben Stiller stars in this smart and winning remake of a 1972 Neil Simon-penned comedy about a man who falls in love with another woman on his honeymoon.

Marc Savlov, Oct. 5, 2007

More by Kimberley Jones
The Edge of Seventeen
Teen dramedy gets the growing pains right

Nov. 18, 2016

SXSW Conference Announces New Panels
SXSW Conference Announces New Panels
Muslim-American journalist Noor Tagouri joins lineup

Nov. 15, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Hall Pass, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Nicky Whelan

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)