The worst feeling as a movie-goer and someone who loves film is when a well-liked director (or in this case pair of directors) just doesn’t deliver. This is exactly the case with Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s newest flick “Hall Pass.”
The film centers on two buddies who are given “hall passes.” In their language, this means their wives have given them a guilt-free week off from marriage to do anything (or anybody) they want. Now, on hearing the plot and seeing that the two leading men are Owen Wilson and Saturday Night Live’s Jason Sudeikis, many may think that the film will be refreshingly hilarious.
Think again. The film falls completely short of the mark in several respects, all of which are the writers’ fault. The two leads give decent performances, as do Christina Applegate and Jenna Fischer, who play the two men’s wives, respectively. The problem is, all four are limited by the script.
Knowing the comedic talent of all four leads, the script was a complete disappointment. While all four actors do the best with what they are given, it is clear that they are confined by the script. Almost all of the film’s jokes are juvenile sex gags, which are either going to be a hit or miss for the audience. Sadly, at least 85 percent of them missed their mark.
“Hall Pass” is one of the rare dents in the Farrelly brothers’ otherwise strong resume. It is unfortunate, because this film definitely had potential. Given that the Farrellys also directed “Dumb and Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary,” there is much room for improvement.
At the end of the day, “Hall Pass” is one of those movies that should just be viewed on TV (meaning, watch it only when it’s free). Hopefully the Farellys will get their act together and make their next film, a big screen adaptation of “The Three Stooges,” better. Much better.