Hall Pass
Imagine this was a film that didn’t suck.

Theatrical Release Date: 02/25/2011
Directors: Bobby & Peter Farrelly
Cast: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Nicky Whelan, Richard Jenkins, Stephen Merchant
Rated: R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use.
Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes


What this table needs are some drinks!

After seeing the trailer for the new Owen Wilson/Jason Sudeikis comedy, “Hall Pass”, I wasn’t expecting much. Upon finding out it was made by the Farrelly brothers, my hope meter ticked up. After seeing the final product (and sticking through the entire credits for extra scenes), I realize that the adage about trusting your first instinct is often repeated for a reason.

Now, the idea of seeing what a couple of guys being given a “week off from marriage” would do is a premise that can work. Given a few weeks and monetary incentive, I’m sure some screenwriters could develop very funny scenes. That doesn’t appear to be the case here, however.

What is on screen are completely predictable setups as the bumbling duo unsurprisingly realize that they love their wives and that being single isn’t for them. Great. Super. Wonderful.

Now, one thing you might want to know is that when watching the film, I was coming off of a bout with the flu and found that laughing brought about cough fits. But whether it was for the best or not, I never found myself needing to stifle a cough. Not once.

Obviously, my initial blame goes to the script. But more to the point, I simply found Owen Wilson’s character unlikable. He’s a sad, sour sack who clearly never wants to try this little experiment so why should the audience care when he realizes the inevitable? Sudeikis is the gung-ho sidekick but in order for the film to work, both leads need to be on board. How would “Dumb & Dumber” have been if one of them had been smart and logical? And the logic that the idea of an odd couple scenario is the goal doesn’t fly either. Wilson may not have his heart in the endeavor, but he and Sudeikis aren’t drastically different otherwise, making a comedic approach via this angle untenable.

There’s really not much point in belaboring the point and dragging this review out any further. While I was rarely cringing from embarrassment that I was watching “Hall Pass”, I’m now aware that there are 105 minutes of my life worth less than an alcohol induced nap. A 2 out of 5, if you like lazy humor and love Owen Wilson, this might work. Otherwise, try that nap thing.

2 out of 5