Friday, February 25, 2011

Hall Pass

The Farrelly Brothers are back with another R-rated comedy.  You're probably familiar with their work as the writers and directors of 'There's Something About Mary', 'Dumb and Dumber', 'Me, Myself and Irene', 'Stuck on You', and the remake of 'The Heartbreak Kid'.  That should give you a pretty good idea what you're in for here.

This time Owen Wilson stars as a good family man, as husband to 'The Office's Jenna Fischer and loving father of three kids.  But Wilson still has an eye for the ladies.  He doesn't act on it, of course, but he can't help but notice.  And when his noticing gets noticed by Fischer, she and her gal pals reluctantly decide to let their husbands have a 'hall pass'.  For one week they can pretend they're not married and do whatever they want, with no consequences and no questions asked.

Not to be unexpected, the comedy here is mainly sexual and crude.  But it's also uproariously funny.  All the gags are pretty well executed.  Even when you see them coming, which is not that often, they're done so well you can't help but laugh.  Well, I couldn't anyway.  (I'm not a proud man.)

Wilson and Fischer are perfectly cast, as are their costars Christina Applegate, SNL's Jason Sudeikis, The British 'Office's Stephen Merchant, and 'The Visitor's Richard Jenkins who always steals every film he's in, and in a completely different role than I've ever seen him before as the Sherlock Holmes of the club dating scene.

But the biggest surprise is that the screenplay was co-written by Pete Jones.  Did anyone see the first season of HBO's 'Project Greenlight'?  Does anyone even remember 2002's 'Stolen Summer'.  I sure do and I always wondered why Jones disappeared after such a respectable first film.  Of course, this is not the type of film I expected from him, but it should put him back on the map.  I look forward to 'Stolen Summer 2', Pete.

So, needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.  Check it out, unless you're easily offended by crude sexual humor.

Grade:  B+

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