Eager viewers should pass on ‘Hall Pass’

Hall Pass movie 2011


"Every so often, a new film concept comes along with funny ideas and good morals. Then the producers get a hold of it, smack it with a big stick, get rid of all, if any, original and funny ideas and sell it out as disappointing processed sludge. One example is the generic "frat boy" comedy genre, which is essentially "Hall Pass" in a nutshell.

""Hall Pass," directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly ("The Heartbreak Kid"), is, in every meaning of the word, a "frat boy" comedy. The film centers around Rick, played by Owen Wilson ("Little Fockers"), who, after the first 10 minutes of staring at hot women, is given a hall pass by his wife, Maggie, played by Jenna Fischer (TV’s "The Office"). Fred, Rick’s friend, played by Jason Sudeikis (TV’s "Saturday Night Live"), gets jealous that Rick gets a hall pass and does something to get his wife, Grace, played by Christina Applegate ("Going the Distance") to give him one too. Fred succeeds and the two go out to attempt to pick up girls.

"The acting is okay. The directing is okay. The location, lighting, sound design, cinematography and editing all seem okay. But it all seems like everyone phoned in their work just for the sake of a quick buck. Yet this seemingly average movie gets dragged down by the crushing wait of a horrible script.

"Rick, the main character, doesn’t even want to go through with the hall pass idea and frequently, throughout the film, he just wants to give up and go back to his wife, which defeats the purpose of the movie. Better yet, in the beginning, he didn’t seem like he was too bad of a husband. He didn’t do anything blatantly awful, so giving him a hall pass to begin with doesn’t make any sense.

"The script is also poorly conceived for a lot of other reasons. Rick’s friends, who have no characteristics other than those of stereotypes and serve no purpose to the overall story, are just thrown into the script. More importantly, the script is not funny. Most of the humor comes from the wacky dialogue of the stereotypical friends and Fred, who is equally as stereotypical, but unfortunately gets more screen-time. What they say just isn’t funny; it’s crude, misogynistic and homophobic. The film also gets graphic for no other reason than to get a cheap, uncomfortable laugh from the audience, in which anyone who has more sophistication than a 13-year-old won’t find it funny.

"This is not a good movie, and it is not one that has consistent characters, clear motivations or a good story line. This isn’t the movie for you if you want to sit there and laugh for over 90 minutes. In fact, I can’t think of who this movie is for, except for a pre-teen who snuck into the theater. The premise has been done before and has been done one hundred times better. "Hall Pass" is not funny, and it is a waste of your money and time.

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