Hall Pass

It’s been along time since we got a good comedy from The Farrelly Brothers.  There was a time when the co-directing siblings were on fire beginning with “Dumb and Dumber” and then exploding with “There’s Something About Mary”.  The last real good, funny movie from the two was probably “Stuck on You” which came out in 2003 so they have been way overdue.

Their new comedy is “Hall Pass” which stars Owen Wilson, Saturday Night Live’s Jason Sedeikis, Jenna Fischer, Joy Behar and Christina Applegate.  One interesting note in the credits is that the first Project Greenlight winner, Pete Jones has a story and screenplay credit.  His winning screenplay and directorial debut, “Stolen Summer” was disastrous (having a TV show document his effort did not help any either).  It would be interesting to learn how much the brothers changed Pete’s screenplay to fit their style of filmmaking.  Still, it’s good to see someone who once could only dream of getting a job in Hollywood getting another shot.

The story of the movie focuses on two married couples, Rick and Maggie (Wilson and Fischer) & Fred and Grace (Sedeikis and Applegate).  Years of marriage are beginning to wear on the two couples as Rick and Fred’s eyes continually wonder to other women around them.  It gets to the point where the two wives grant they’re husbands a “hall pass”, which grants the men a “week off from marriage” where they can do anything (or anyone) they want without any consequences.  They get the idea from their friend Dr. Lucy (Behar) when she tells them it did wonders for her marriage.  We then follow Fred and Rick on their week long adventure.

The Farrelly Brothers are an acquired taste of comedy and is not for everyone.  Some of the “gross-out” jokes they have committed in the past is almost Hollywood legend.  Who could forget Cameron Diaz’s special hair gel from “There’s Something About Mary”?  There are jokes like that here too.  Some will get a small chuckle other will have you howling with laughter.  Sometimes it got so loud at the screening at City Place in West Palm Beach earlier this week that you could not hear any dialogue on screen for close to half a minute.

Peter and Bobby Farrelly are no strangers to controversy and they may find themselves a little bit with their new movie too.  Some think that some of their jokes go too far.  When they released “Shallow Hal” ten years ago they got a lot of guff from fat people because they felt they were being made fun of in the movie when actually the whole point of that movie was how true beauty comes from the inside.  Whether husbands will be seeking hall passes after seeing this movie remains to be seen.  To those men who may be thinking about that just remember that you are not the only ones receiving this pass, your wife is getting one too.  The movie is rated-R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and language.

Those who stay through all the end credits will be well rewarded.