Hall Pass stars Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis as two domestic dads whose wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate), fed up with them thinking they’re still players and being obsessed with sex, give them a week off from marriage. Instead of pretending they’re not ogling young, attractive women and talking about how successful they were when they were single, the guys have the freedom to act on their fantasies — and face what they really want out of life.
As you might expect from a comedy directed by brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly, there’s a good number of references to body parts and functions — asses, masturbation, poop, genitals, and lots and lots of discussion of sex. Various shock moments give the movie its well-deserved R rating, but most of the gags are about showing what failures these guys really are and the embarrassing situations they get themselves into.
What I found interesting about the setup was that the advertising was all about how these guys were given a week to fool around (if they wanted), but the wives also took the same pass. It’s an interesting way of pointing out just how attractive the wives are, even though they’re mothers, and how the guys should feel luckier and not take their relationships for granted. The message, ultimately, is the more you want it, the less likely you are to get it — and those who don’t worry about it are more successful in having it come to them. Much like dating in high school.
Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate in Hall Pass
Between the attractive women used as scenery and the premise, this is a reassuring fantasy escape for the married man, reminding them how much better they really have it. The jokes are predictable, more comfortable than funny, and the cast is better than the material they’re given. Now that it’s available on home video, it should have better luck finding its real audience — parents temporarily fed up with domestic life but liking it better than the alternatives. For all the ridiculous, outrageous scenes (several of which try much too hard to be humorous), the underlying theme of the movie is very conservative in respecting marriage.
This “Enlarged Edition” Blu-ray combo pack allows the viewer to choose either theatrical cut or extended version (providing an extra six minutes). There’s one four-and-a-half-minute deleted scene plus a two-minute gag reel. A second disc contains the theatrical version on DVD and digital copy.
The standard DVD version has only the deleted scene. At the movie website, you can make your own hall pass, play the barcrossing game, or make yourself a 10 with photo manipulation. (The studio provided a review copy.)