Hall Pass Review

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Hall PassThe Farrelly Brothers (Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly) have carved out a niche in the gross comedy stakes. There work a seemingly natural extension of the Frat House humour of Animal House of the 70s, The Revenge of the Nerds of the 80s and well now they have picked up the mantle and carved a career for themselves. Some of their films are actually really good and some miss the mark, for me anyway. It should be noted that this is the second Farrelly Brothers film I have written about, the other was a little known gem called Outside Providence. Which I recommend.

I found there latest offering absolutely hilarious, in fact it is the funniest film I have seen since The Hangover and the similarities don’t end there the story line unrolls in a similar fashion and there may be some casting that will intentionally make you reference The Hangover.

The premise of the film is fairly simple. Some family men are given a Hall Pass that will exempt them from their marriages and responsibilities for a week. Look it may sound a little flimsy but Hall Pass creates a world full of characters that makes a Hall Pass is as easy to believe as anything else in it.

In fact that is the beauty of Hall Pass the Farrellys create a world, fill it with characters, these characters have life breathed into them by very well chosen actors that each bring their own quirks and credibility to each bizarre set up and situation. It is a lot like Hot Tub Time Machine without the time travel.

Once the guys start to understand the reality of their situation. How they deal with it really does have a foot in reality and I think will resonate with a male audience. But don’t think that Hall Pass is just for guys because while the guys are doing their thing the wives (Jenna Fischer & Christina Applegate) are dealing with the situation in own ways. There are some absolutely hilarious sketches involving a great dynamic and play between the two male leads, Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis (not Ed Helms from The Hangover as I thought). Neither is quite the straight man which adds to the hilarity.

There are some funny group dynamics going on when their suburban gang (Stephen Merchant, Larry Joe Campbell, Richard Jenkins and J.B. Smoove) gets together. It does feel like some of the characters have been reduced to token roles but by and large the dynamics work. I had no idea Stephen Merchant was in Hall Pass and his, is one of the roles that feels token’ish – but stay for the end credits as frustratingly that is where his funniest bits are.

As we have come to expect there are some genuinely disgusting bits but the Farrellys must have beaten me into submission as I was laughing the loudest during the screening.

Even though it’s played for laughs the Hall Pass situation has a sweet underlying message which you will probably see coming a mile off, but how they get us there is funny.

If you enjoyed The Hangover or Hot Tub Time Machine ignore the rather lame poster and see Hall Pass it before it’s overhyped and starts to fall over under the weight of raised expectation (which I have just contributed to).

Hall Pass
Hall Pass Review

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Richard Jenkins, Stephen Merchant, Larry Joe Campbell, J.B. Smoove, Alyssa Milano

Hall Pass will be in UK cinemas this Friday 11 March, 2011