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Hall Pass movie poster

Hall Pass: Movie Review

Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Starring: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fisher, Christina Applegate, Nicky Whelan, Stephen Merchant
Released by: Warner Bros. Pictures

In Short: The Farrelly brothers turn suburban marriage on its ear with this funny flick about two wives who give their husbands a week off from marriage – a “hall pass.”

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A Wild Week Off from Marriage

Remember when the Farrelly brothers, Peter and Bobby, were really, really funny guys? Back when "There’s Something About Mary" made you laugh so hard your stomach hurt for a day after seeing it? That was a long time ago, and the writing-directing-producing team from Rhode Island have stumbled a bit in recent years, with forgettable films like their last release, 2007’s "The Heartbreak Kid."

So entering the theater to see "Hall Pass" was something of a crapshoot. It could turn out to be really funny, especially with the cast the Farrellys assembled, including Owen Wilson, Jenna Fisher (from "The Office"), Christina Applegate and Jason Sudeikis (from "Saturday Night Live") as the two couples that drive the action of the film. Or it could turn out to be like "Me, Myself and Irene:" great on paper (Jim Carrey, Renee Zellweger) and terrible in execution.

Happily, "Hall Pass" turns out to be a winner, a terrific satire of suburbia as a whole and suburban marriage in particular. The idea is simple. Two long-married wives get fed up with their husbands’ constant ogling of other, younger women, and decide to give them both a "hall pass" for a week, a week off from their marriage vows, to do anything they want.

Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson in Hall Pass Jenna Fischer, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis and Christina Applegate in Hall Pass

With Owen Wilson deftly leading the way, he and Sudeikis hit the bricks, looking for adventure. At first, they bring along their motley crew of married guy friends, but when that goes hilariously wrong (the golf course sequence is priceless), they strike out on their own, determined to get some hot young thing to play ball. Meanwhile, their wives are having a hall pass of their own, so things are getting interesting on that front as well.

And while "Hall Pass" is not as gut-bustingly funny as "There’s Something About Mary" (but truly, what is?), it is tons of fun, especially for anyone who has actually been married. But even singles will find plenty of moments to crack up in this well executed comedy from two brothers who, when they get it right, really know how to make people laugh.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters


(Updated: 02/24/11 CT)

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