Hall Pass shows comedic and sentimental motives
If you’re into lewd, rude and obnoxious comedic films with some heartfelt scenes, Hall Pass is definitely for you.
Peter and Bobby Farrelly have created another laugh-out-loud comedy. Although not quite as hilarious as their previous films, such as There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber and The Heartbreak Kid, Hall Pass has plenty of memorable scenes and funny moments.
The film’s concept is simple. Two 40-something-year-old guys (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) with wandering eyes and a longing for a variety of women are given “hall passes” by their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate, respectively) These passes give them one week off from marriage to do whatever they want, whenever they want and with whomever they want.
To set up seven wild days away from marriage, the story establishes the ordinary, mundane family life of Rick (Wilson) and Fred (Sudeikis). Both clearly yearn for younger, livelier women. Whenever an attractive woman walks by, Rick or Fred shamelessly stares at her cleavage, even with their wives present.
Both wives give their husbands the pass thinking that since some married men desire other women only because it is forbidden, giving their husbands a few days off from marriage will soften the desire to cheat.
Rick’s week-long tests are where the great comedy takes place. Rick is challenged when Leigh, a coffee shop girl played by Nicky Whelan, aggressively tempts him to use his hall pass by dropping her top. Instead of taking the opportunity, however, Rick remembers his deep love for his wife.
The supporting cast members bring additional perspective and humor into the story. J.B. Smoove, Larry Joe Campbell and Stephan Merchant play the clueless sidekicks giving foolish advice and cheering Rick and Fred toward their goals, yet hindering them along the way. At one point, Gary (Merchant) offers everyone marijuana brownies and later finds out that anything more than a quarter piece is too much.
The Farrelly Brothers do a good job of writing comically, even planting a Kathy Griffin joke five minutes into the movie that doesn’t pay off until the end of the film.
The film’s accompanying screenwriters, Pete Jones and Kevin Barnett clearly love channeling the teenage boys within them. After all, they created a story about two men who get a week off from marriage.
The screenwriting team also knows how to take jokes a step further than expected. Once you think a gag is about to end, there’s another payoff that extends the joke or a humorous twist to a sincere situation. In one noteworthy scene, Rick tells Maggie that, “You were my first, my last and everything in between,” to which she replies, “Is that why you were crying?”
The Farrelly Brothers mix raunchy comedy with heartfelt scenes. At its emotional core, this story is about a married man, Rick, who not only wants to feel young again, but also wants to be desired by a woman — namely, his wife. Rick eventually discovers what he actually needs is to love his wife and be loved in return.
The Farrelly Brothers create a film that provides many laughs, and they do so in a simple manner.