I am an unabashed fan of the Farrelly Brothers. There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, and their masterpiece, Kingpin; I can watch these films repeatedly and laugh my ass off every time. Unfortunately, they've been in a serious rut for the last ten years. Their 21st century work - Shallow Hal, Osmosis Jones, Stuck On You - to name a few, have all pretty much sucked. So I did have a fair amount of trepidation walking into Hall Pass. The trailers were awful. Everything about the film's marketing had me uneasy. It's good to be wrong. Hall Pass is hilarious, a return to form for the Farrelly's. It's not on par with their best films, but gut-busting funny and a much better story than I expected.
Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis star as Rick and Fred, average suburban family guys. They're happy with their wives, Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate). But are always gawking and fantasizing about other women. This really annoys their spouses, who are finally pushed over the edge after a few hysterical incidents. The wives, upon advice from a famous therapist (Joy Behar), gives the husbands a week off from marriage - a hall pass. They can do anything, anybody, without repercussions. At first this seems like a dream come true for the guys, but the reality of two geeky married guys hitting on hot babes sinks in fast. As well as the fact that if you don't want your wife, there are other guys that will fill the void in a heartbeat.
Hall Pass is an equal smattering of buddy, gross-out, shock, and feel-good comedy. It never swings too far from having heart, but is raunchy enough to drop your jaw and offend sensitivities. This formula is what made the Farrelly Brothers great in the past. Keep the comedy coming fast and furious, but make the characters likeable so they actually become endearing. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis are playing themselves mostly, but it works. They have chemistry, and more important, are believable with the female leads. I can actually buy that Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate would marry them. Because it's the flaws as well as the good traits that make someone likeable.
The trailers and TV ads do not give away the best parts of this movie. I was concerned all the funniest bits were already seen and the film would be boring. Not the case at all. I've done my best to be spoiler-free as to not ruin the laughs. Do yourself a favor and try to go as cold as possible. You will laugh yourself into the ground. I think this is a worthy date film as well. The Farelly's are equally offensive to both sexes, so women get their digs on men too.