Directed By: Bobby and Peter Farrelly
Written By: Pete Jones, Kevin Barnett, Peter and Bobby Farrelly
I do not like infidelity and I hate watching movies about it. So I really protested when this one was suggested for rental. With nothing else to choose from at the time I settled and found myself laughing much more than I ever would have expected. As a happily married man I want to say one thing for the record; if you need a “hall pass” from marriage then there is no hope for your relationship. Taking time apart is one thing, but carte blanche to do whatever you want and betray the trust and love of your spouse is something that can only be bad. Despite that I think this movie is funny because it is honest about the situation. The horny men are practically hopeless in their efforts to woo women while their wives become the willing prey of other horny men. This is a movie I really didn’t expect much from but found something to really like and appreciate about it.
The strength of this movie comes from the stars. I don’t know what has been up with Owen Wilson lately but I think with this movie he showed us he still has plenty to offer. I have always liked Wilson and was really disappointed when I heard that he was having troubles a few years ago. I don’t know enough about what happened but I think he had some serious depression issues and if I’m not mistaken there was a suicide scare at one point. He seems to be on the right track now though and as a fan I am grateful for that. He is really funny in this movie and had great chemistry with his main co-star. I think Jason Sudeikis is hilarious; everything he does makes me laugh. These two guys together are what make this movie funny and I can not imagine that I would have liked it had any other two men played the parts.
I have always thought Jenna Fischer was great as Pam on The Office, and I enjoyed seeing her in this movie. She is a beautiful woman who has a normal look to her that made her a good fit for this part. I am sincerely glad too that she and her husband in this movie are the ones that stay true to each other despite their opportunities. I have never been a fan of Christina Applegate and at one point thought she was second only to Michael Jackson in plastic surgery procedures. I do not know this and have no idea if it is true at all but there have been times over the years when she has just not looked right. She looks more normal now but I think that is just the work of a better surgeon that fixed the disaster that had become her nose. I have never found her to be particularly funny and given I think her looks are as fake as a three dollar bill I don’t see anything to appreciate in her. She isn’t bad in this movie but I do not like the character she plays or what she does. While I think the idea of “Hall Pass” is stupid in general. I think it is much worse to give it to your husband then run out and have one of your own. Not only that but to dishonor your vows for thirty seconds with an idiot who is ready to kick you straight to the curb once he is finished with you is just shameful.
This movie had a really good supporting cast as well. I am usually a big fan of Richard Jenkins and whatever he brings to the films he is in but I don’t think this was the right role for him. I just don’t see him as the super cool single guy that can get any woman he wants and do anything. Where were the other funny guys these guys usually co-star with? Why wasn’t Will Ferrell chosen, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, or anybody else really? I just can’t imagine how they ended up settling for Jenkins in this role. Stephen Merchant is one of the guys in their posse here and I think he is really funny too. In case you don’t know who Merchant is; he is the writing partner of Ricky Gervais and they have created many funny things together. I have never seen Nicky Whelan before in anything else, but damn. Could they have found a hotter woman to play her part? Not to mention the fact that she gets topless in this one which is always a plus, and in her case a mega plus.
One of the things I specifically like about this movie is that it is honest. These guys think they are getting what they want but they are so hopeless that they resort to desperation in the end. It’s honest too because while they are trying so hard to get what they want and failing, their wives are able to do it so much easier. This is why a hall pass is stupid gentlemen. Why you are out there chasing all the ass you can lay your eyes on and getting rejected your wife is out there with the opportunity to do whatever she wants really, and she will be more successful. In the end both parties will have done something that they will have to live with and it is the kind of thing that can destroy a relationship. I think it is natural for both men and women to desire others after making their commitment to each other because we are all weak and pathetic creatures of desire. Nothing is worth the trouble you will incur by acting on those desires though. You can destroy your life and hurt the lives of your friends and family by doing this. It is a selfish thing to do and more often than not it simply isn’t worth that kind of trouble. You have to suppress those desires and just appreciate the out-of-reach people like the ones we see on TV. Checking out and perving on women you come in contact with in the real world will only lead to trouble.
I for one would never do this even if my wife suggested it. Sure it sounds like a cool idea but is it worth what I would be risking? I come from a broken home and am part of a generation that grew up with divorced parents. I can tell you that it isn’t worth it, don’t do it. I was a kid that suffered from the mistakes of my parents and I would never in a million years want to put my own children through such a thing. Not only that but I am lucky enough to really love my wife and I would never betray her trust with another. I will say it again; if you think you need a hall pass from marriage so you can chase other women then you might as well go ahead and call an attorney because your relationship is probably beyond saving.
I think the fact that I hate the idea of this movie so much but still liked enough to add it to the collection says something about how good it is. It’s a funny movie and I never expected to laugh so much when I sat down to watch it. I think this movie is worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone that asked.