Oh. You’ve never heard of a marriage Hall Pass either.
Nobody has, which is why the cast of Hall Pass is contractually obliged to say Hall Pass in every sentence, to pretend that it’s a real, actual thing that people really have in real life. They don’t.
There’s spoilers in here, but don’t worry – the film spoils itself, both in terms of being rubbish, and by being arse-achingly predictable.
Owen Wilson (“oh, it’s not Luke”) and Jason Sudeikis (“oh, him from 30 Rock”) are two characters so bland and interchangeable that even the other characters forget who is who. They’re married to Jenna Fischer (“oh, her from The Office”) and Christina Applegate (“oh, her from Anchorman”), but do horrendous things like checking out other women.
The wives dole out Hall Passes (you know, Hall Passes, like in that thing), so the gents have a week off from all their marriage duties. The wives sod off on holiday with the kids, so Bloke and Blokey are legally allowed to drink, fight and – especially – fuck their little hearts out.
At this point, you may have predicted that one of the chaps has the opportunity to cheat, waits until she gets her boobies out, then realises he can’t go through with it and that he loves his wife. You’d be right.
Because it’s a Farrelly Brothers movie, there’s wall-to-wall hilarity – from a man shitting in a golf bunker, to a woman shitting down a bathroom wall. Okay, not hilarity. It really just is a fat bloke curling out a turd on the 9th hole.And Hall Pass isn’t the only phrase that they’ve made up especially for the film. There’s the expression fake chow, which is used to miserable comic effect. The explanation is not suitable for a family newspaper.
Now the gents have their Hall Passes, they take drugs (well, eat pot brownies) with the criminally underused Stephen Merchant, and one of the chaps has the opportunity to cheat, waits until she gets her boobies out, then realises he can’t go through with it and that he loves his wife.
The big revelation of the film is what the wives get up to: Wife 1 sleeps with a quick-coming hunk, while Wife 2 fucks the baseball coach. And this is the point where the film reveals itself to actually be a bit, well, cunty.
See, Bloke 1 and Bloke 2 are harmless fuckwits: They check out women in the street, and moan about their friends’ wives. Who doesn’t? Wife 1, towards the start of the movie, pretends to be asleep to avoid having sex, while Bloke 2 has to resort to wanking in his car. And now the wives have given the guys HALL PASSes – and actually given themselves the week off – which they immediately use to go and get laid.
Meanwhile, Bloke 1 is leading on Pepper from Neighbours, takes one look at her tits and runs away. It’s supposed to be all heroic and faithful to his wife, but poor Pepper. Led on and then thrown away after she’s flashed her nipples at the camera. Upsetting the guy who has a crush on her. Making things terrible for her.At the end of their week off, nobody mentions anything they’ve got up to. So that’s alright, then. There’s no way those secrets will come out in some mental, jealous rage in a future argument. Nobody will stew over what happened, or not be able to trust their partner.
The Hall Pass concept is rubbish, the movie is vaguely sinister, the characters have less depth than The Simpsons, and the gross-out is just minging for the sake of it. Nobody wins in this film. Except Stephen Merchant, whose three minute Hall Pass premonition in the end credits is almost worth sitting through 90 minutes of bilge for. Almost.
Best Boy: Riko Schatke