Dave White
Hall Pass Review

Dave's Rating:


More like detention.

Who's In It: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate, Jenna Fischer, Joy Behar, Stephen Merchant, Richard Jenkins

The Basics: Monogamy is terrible and boring but the alternative is worse, so behave yourselves, gentlemen. That's the moral of this unsexy sex comedy about people who never get to have sex. When two suburban husbands are given a week-long "hall pass" to go out and do it with any and all women they can find--bestowed upon them by their wives, two women who are deeply offended that their otherwise fully obedient men can't stop looking at other women or secretly masturbating in the family minivan--they fail in the way that a person can only fail in a Farrelly Brothers comedy, with nonstop humiliation, injury and splattery poop accidents. Sound depressing? It is. For everyone.

What's the Deal: This isn't simply a movie about out-of-it middle-aged men who think Applebee's is a good place to pick up ladies for wild no-strings sex. It is the comedy equivalent of that guy: awkward and clueless, occasionally acting like an adolescent to impress people half its age. At one point in history the Farrellys were the go-to guys for outrageous, boundary-pushing, gross-out comedy. But now that even the Jackass men are pushing 40, their predecessors have settled into a comfortable slide toward irrelevance. They even seem to forget that they're supposed to be earning their "R" rating, that's how safe and gentle and bland it all turns out to be. Any location of any real Applebees will show you a better time than you'll get here.

Who's Trying Hardest: Jason Sudeikis seems like the man doing the most improv. You can almost feel him straining against the make-nice script. And Stephen Merchant (tall blond Brit from the Ricky Gervais crew) stars in the movie's funniest sequence, a throw-away bit that plays out over the closing credits that's crazier, darker, more energetic and daring than anything the previous 110 minutes have given. It'll make you wish the entire movie had been about him.

Most Confusing Intrusion: Eat Pray Love's Richard Jenkins appears as a rich, aging, soulless playboy who knows everything about what women want, sort of like a midwestern James Bond. One catch--they've dressed him up in idiotic Ed Hardy/Affliction gear, orange tan, gold chains and a trying-too-hard attitude that the movie depicts as inexplicably popular with the young people and simultaneously sexually pathetic. You never know what you're supposed to think about him because the movie can't decide either.

Don't Be Fooled: Any man who wins the date night coin toss and picks this movie will spend two hours feeling scolded for having a penis. You'll be happier at The King's Speech. Seriously.


Comments (3)

davidk - 2-28-2011 6:08 PM
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Hall pass was.......seriously rough to watch, uncomfortable in a bad way (which seems to be normal approach in comedy 101 nowdays) I think the farrelly brothers need to really start to examine their past comedies and feel out for what those had and what this one doesn't (excluding heartbreak kid).

Tommy - 3-15-2011 1:33 PM
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Man was I wrong about this movie....I thought it was going to be pretty funny....complete garbage.......it's even straight up depressing and uncomfortably awkward at some moments...... What it lacks in clever dialogue/plot it tries to make up for in extreme gross-out humor at the most random moments, which results in an even bigger fail... ....and Dave's right, my gf was completely pissed at me the rest of the night after the movie....even though I hadn't done anything wrong.

Misandry in the Media - 12-27-2014 7:01 AM
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Hi Tommy, and to whoever reading this. This is an old post, but I will still respond to Tommy for everyone else to see. This movie is an example of how the media's portrayal can inflict upon the population an unbalanced outlook, especially when it comes down to gender and racial themes. It's sickening that polygomy is being subliminally programmed into people through the media, and yet very few are even aware of this fact. Look around at how relationships have plumetted in the recent years... Just think about it. It's disgusting.

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