Hall Pass Movie Review

The Farrelly brothers once again combine raucous humour, outrageous vulgarity and genuinely heartfelt comedy for this surprisingly involving story about rediscovering the spark in marriage.

Rick and Fred (Wilson and Sudeikis) are best pals who have never quite given up their frat-boy ways, even though both are settled down with their wives Maggie and Grace (Fischer and Applegate), respectively. Fed up with their obsessions with sex, the women give their husbands hall passes: a week off from marriage, no questions asked. But things have changed since they were 20-year-old bucks, both in the world and in their priorities. Is it as much fun to actually go girl-crazy as it is to pretend to do it?

In other hands (think Judd Apatow or Todd Phillips), this premise would lead to a series of embarrassing man-child antics. But the Farrellys steer a more realistic route through the material. Sure, there are plenty of hijinks, but the dialog sounds more honest than goofy, and performances are grounded in characters rather than the nutty situations. What emerges might be duller, but it's also a witty, astute exploration of both male friendship and the way relationships change with time.

Watching these men confront their fantasies is often quite funny (when the filmmakers can avoid throwing in a cheap gross-out joke). Wilson and Sudeikis are believable as two guys who imagine they're still just as desirable to young women as they were when they were younger. In fact they probably are, but when they have the chance to get cheating out of their system, the reality surprises them.

Even more interesting is the journey Maggie and Grace take, which is sharply played by both Fischer and Applegate. The truth the movie acknowledges is that women are the ones who get their dreams (men have to adapt theirs), and this might be because women are the ones who actually grow up. This is a pretty big topic for what's essentially a silly comedy, but with their unfussy filmmaking and clear eye for the ironies of everyday life, the Farrellys are the right filmmakers to make it work.


Hall Pass Rating

" Good "

Rating: 15, 2011


More Owen Wilson

A Week In Movies: Snowpiercer Premieres In L.A., Dustin Hoffman Films In London, New Trailers Promise Sci-Fi, Black Comedy And Comic-Book Action

Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Alison Pill and John Cho were among the celebrities who turned out this week for the opening night of the Los...

Are You Here Trailer

Steve Dallas may have a high-flying career as a TV weather man, but it hasn't affected his feelings for his distinctly less successful best buddy...

'The Grand Budapest Hotel': Perfect Mix of Comedy and Adventure [Trailer]

You can never mistake a Wes Anderson movie: his colourful visual style and quirky wit infuse every frame of his movies, whether they're set underwater...

Tonight's Cinema Plans? A No-Brainer: Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel

March isn’t generally a good time for cinemagoers. Post Oscars, you’ll rarely find yourself torn between films when making your ticket buying decisions, and tonight...


The Grand Budapest Hotel Movie Review

Wes Anderson's entertaining filmmaking style clicks beautifully into focus for this comical adventure. Films like The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom are packed with amazing...

The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

The cast and crew of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' discuss the story, the main characters' relationship and the duties of the concierge in the latest...

Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

Gustave may be aloof and snobbish in many ways, but he's also extremely charming with a good heart and a titanic personality. As result he...

Owen Wilson Welcomes Son With Former Personal Trainer Caroline Lindqvist

Owen Wilson has welcomed a second child, a baby boy, with his former personal trainer.Wilson's personal trainer, Caroline Lindqvist, gave birth to their son on...