Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review - Hall Pass (2011)

"That is making me uncomfortable, would you mind switching places with him?"

Starring: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Writing: Pete Jones, Peter Farrelly

It’s taken me a while to sum up my feeling about this movie. It’s a typical Farrelly vehicle and while I did laugh at some of the typical humour I will admit there was just something lacking from it. It was just a hollow experience and afterwards I couldn’t help but feel just let down. But enough of the overall picture lets look at this sucker in depth.

Story wise what we have is Rick (Wilson) and Fred (Sudeikis) given a week off marriage by their two wives Maggie (Fischer) and Grace (Applegate) who are fed up with their childish behaviour surrounding women and sex. It’s one of those ‘What If,’ scenario’s that people may wonder about. Well actually in this case I never really wondered but was willing to go along with the story as I’ve found that the one thing Farrelly movies have is heart. However that was sorely lacking and instead we get a very pale imitation of the Hangover.

A lot of the problem lies in the characters we are expected to get behind. I found most of the characters bland or at worst just awful. Owen Wilson and Jenna Fischer almost get away with their natural charm and yet there does seem to be wholes in their characters that make us wonder about their motivation. In fact without giving to much away, but there was a bit of a twist at the end and honestly would have been better if it wasn’t a twist but hinted at up front so we would get a better understanding of the characters motivation. As for all the other characters while I did laugh at some of the things they said, more often than not I wanted to punch them in the face. In the words of wrestling fans, they got heat but X-Pac heat. Which is bad for those of you who don’t watch wrestling.

This comedy just seems to be by the numbers sort of movie. Its dialogue is set up to be shocking and yet doesn’t really shock as it’s obviously not natural. It has a few toilet humour gags and yet it doesn’t have enough to really be considered a full on raunchy movie. Back a bit I suggested that this was a pale imitation of the Hangover and you can tell this is a studio driven movie in order to make some money off those who like Hangover. There is no real drive to make a decent funny movie by any in attendance.

So a quick sum up of everything. Did I laugh? Yes. But the funny thing is because of the horrid characters and premise I started hating myself for it. Maybe if they fleshed out the characters a little more, especially in the case of Owen Wilson the movie might have found the heart it needed to be something a bit better. At the end of the day if you are really desperate for a comedy with a bit of a raunchy streak then I guess you could do worse. Honestly I want a little bit more to my comedies. Also I don’t want to watch a movie, where I feel the need to punch the main characters.

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