Before watching Hall Pass in the cinema, I was genuinely excited. Having seen the trailers, I had high expectations for the film, and thought it could be an early summer hit. Have the Farrellys’ done it right? Or will this be a massive flop?
Hall Pass is a movie about 2 forty-something year olds who have been granted one week of any commitments, Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) are best of friends who aren’t enjoying their married lives, and are missing the thrill of picking up women. Their wives Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate) decide to grant them the illustrious week off marriage, the Hall Pass.
The idea of getting a week of getting a Hall Pass should worry any normal married man as it is very similar to getting a trial separation, however Rick and Fred seem to think this is the Holy Grail of married lives.
The movie follows them across the week and as someone watching them interact I felt as if there wasn’t much content, it was as if their week consisted of eating and failing to pickup women. There were no moments where I felt I had learnt anything important about the characters!
On the first day of the week we see Rick and Fred meet up with their poker friends and go to an Appleby’s to pick up women with little success. They instead gorge themselves and go back to their motel. We see this kind of attempt very regularly in the movie till the last day, where we see their fabled single friend join them. Coakley (Richard Jenkins) is a veteran of the singles game and has many tips for his friends.
As all of the mishaps occur with the men, we see the women have decided that the Hall Pass applies to them too, and they are far more successful in applying it, Maggie and Grace meet a group of baseball players on the second or third day who they then hang out with for the rest of the week.
The slapstick and action comedy interludes are haphazardly executed at best, and matters aren’t helped by the film’s incredibly ugly look; for whatever reason, the productions from New Line Cinema appear poorly lighted, processed and/or printed, which results in blotchy, bleachy images that do no favours to the actors.
Wilson looks extremely pale and pasty during the film, and is lacking the prowess which we saw so abundantly in films of his such as Wedding Crashers. Sudeikis is full of energy and enthusiasm in the movie and in his role as Fred, thus making him very convincing. Fischer proves to be a very good middle-class mother and wife in the film and seems to be the ideal person for the role. However Applegate doesn’t seem to fit any role in the movie and we see question marks about what she is really about.
As a movie I feel that it didn’t move me as much as a romantic comedy should as I felt there was little romance and even less comedy. I wouldn’t recommend this movie for anyone who is looking to feel any connection to any characters. In my opinion the Farrelly Brothers seem to have missed a trick and thus this movie is a flop.