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March 9, 2011

Viewers shouldn’t ‘Pass’ on this raunchy flick

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Written by: Morgan Denno

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Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures

Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures

When people are told not to think about sex, what do they think about? Sex, of course. This is the basic premise of the most recent Farrelly brothers’ comedy, “Hall Pass.” The idea revolves around the old “grass is greener on the other side” adage. Much like the movies directed by the Farrelly brothers in the past, such as “Dumb and Dumber,” “There’s Something About Mary” and “Stuck on You,” “Hall Pass” is a movie that gives the audience a few good laughs.

“Hall Pass” tells a story of Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis), who lead typical suburban lives, but, according to their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate), are “obsessed with sex”..Even though they are married, Rick and Fred can’t help but look at other women as their married sex lives becomes scarcer than ever. Fed up, the wives allow their husbands a “hall pass,” a week off from marriage where adultery is allowed.

Wilson and Sudeikis play minivan-driving, button-up shirt-wearing, golf-playing suburban dads who are entirely content to reminisce about the muscles they used to have. Their dorkiness seems to be just shy of a fanny pack, while Fischer believably plays a frazzled mom and Applegate plays her usual uptight / funny role. When the wives leave for their weeklong trip, the men soon find they have no idea how to use their “hall pass” and their goofy married buddies have no helpful advice.

After repeatedly failed pick-up line attempts, trips to Applebee’s and eating medical brownies while golfing, the men seem to have no opportunity of getting lucky. Rick has his eyes set on a beautiful Australian barista while Fred is desperate for anyone, but ridiculous circumstances seem to prevent any chance of action. It all builds up to their last days of freedom when cop chases, gross bathroom scenes and full frontal nudity allow Rick and Fred to discover what really matters most.

Dirty humor and frat-boy hunger for getting laid keep audiences laughing while the story of the marriages keeps the film from getting too raunchy. The transitions from day to day are probably the funniest parts of the movie and allow the audience to see just how hopeless Rick and Fred’s chances are of actually using their “hall passes”. What is funniest about “Hall Pass” is that these somewhat fuddy-duddy guys remind audiences of real men; dads or neighbors that have good hearts but fall into some pretty hilarious situations.

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Morgan Denno


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