HALL PASS (2011)

TMG Scale: 6.0     P Factor 2.0
Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate, Richard Jenkins

Joy Lynn: This is a tasteless, stupid and actually gross movie with some notable laughs that pushes the envelope even further than I thought was possible.  In particular, public masturbation and genital manipulation.  When did that become mandatory in films? Rick (Owen Wilson)   and  Fred (Jason Sudeikis) play sex-obsessed immature middle aged men whose wives give them a week off of marriage so they can get the extramarital lusting out of their system.  Need I say more?  Frustrated, immature, sex-obsessed, middle aged men lusting after women.  What do you expect? This is a gross exaggeration of the male gender. Sure, men will always fantasize about and visually check out beautiful women, some more blatantly than others. But, it takes a mature man to appreciate what he has. The plot of this movie is about men, but the wives (Christina Applegate & Jenna Fischer) make a statement as well.  The “hall pass” goes both ways. Farrelly Brothers fans will know what to expect.  All others beware!

TMG: I will poke fun at Joy to say that the terms “frustrated, immature, sex-obsessed, middle aged men lusting after women” are perhaps all synonymous and redundant. However, I pretty much agree with Joy except that I really laughed…and laughed a lot all during this film.  With good comedy so hard to do and with such gifted actors like Wilson and Sudeikis, why on earth was the pathetically bad, unfunny and tasteless stuff thrown in? The answer?  They forgot to run this movie by any screeners over the age of thirteen. Watching a man defecate on a golf course, masturbate in a car or a woman have a blow out in a bathtub is not funny, it is just vulgar and gross. Take about seven unfunny and disgusting scenes from this movie and you really have a smash comedy.

On the message, I agree it takes a mature man to appreciate what he has.  On that note at least, this movie does finally convey a pro marriage and pro family message.  Many married men will relate to this film because they have at least had the thoughts or challenges faced by Rick and Fred. Few ever got  (or ever will) a genuine “hall pass” free of marriage for a week. But they can have fun thinking about it and maybe this movie lets them laugh and reflect a lot without actually going there. I think most wives might appreciate the exercise as well. I gave this movie a 6.0 for comedic value,  but I could have given it a 8.0 if  if all the unfunny, raunchy stuff were removed.

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