Hall Pass, directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, is a comedy about two middle-aged, married guys who’re starting to get restless in their domesticated lives, until their wives grant them a weeklong break from marriage which allows them to do whatever they like, and more importantly – whoever they like, with no guilt attached. It’s a sweet deal that more than a few men would be thrilled to negotiate, but the wives’ logic is that if the guys are given the opportunity to relive their false nostalgia for bachelorhood, then they won’t grow to resent their spouses for taking away their freedom.
Nicely cast, the film stars Owen Wilson as Rick, and Saturday Night Live’s Jason Sudeikis as Fred, the forty-something-year-olds whose hapless attempts to pick up women fail spectacularly. While the guys try to remember how to be players, their wives (played by Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) head for the week to a seaside town, where they find a little action of their own.
In the hands of the Farrelly Brothers whose comic skills have clearly gotten rusty since 1998’s There’s Something About Mary, this film feels like a never-ending stream of smutty jokes. Amidst the heap of references to masturbation, oral sex and vomit, there’s one particularly sick gag involving Fred’s potential date and a fatal sneeze, that’ll have you turn away in complete disgust.
The movie ends with one of those “aww-so-sweet” kind of predictable resolutions that seems to apologize for all the bad behaviour that preceded it. And in that, Hall Pass displays why it doesn’t have half the bravado of The Hangover, which was just shameless, unapologetic fun.
I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five for Hall Pass. I’m not judging you, but it’s strictly for those who enjoy tasteless, gross-out humor!