Review: Hall Pass Blu-ray

Hall Pass Blu-raySTUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly | CAST: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Nicky Whelan
6/14/11 | PRICE:Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack $35.99, DVD $29.98
BONUSES: deleted scene; BD adds extended version, gag reel
R | 105 min. | Comedy | 2.39:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Hall Pass

Marriage drives Owen Wilson (l.) and Jason Sudeikis to exremes in Hall Pass.

Directed by the Brothers Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal), Hall Pass, like No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits, takes one of the latest wrinkles in contemporary romance and puts it through the mainstream Hollywood machine. This time around, it’s the idea of a marital “hall pass,” wherein husbands (or wives) are given a week off from marriage. That is, a spouse can do whatever he or she wants, with whomever they want, with no consequences when the pass expires and the marriage is officially back on.

Owen Wilson (Little Fockers) and Jason Sudeikis (Going the Distance) star as two seemingly happily if itchy married men in suburban Providence, R.I. They are granted a hall pass by wives Jenna Fischer (Solitary Man) and Christina Applegate (Going the Distance ), who are sensing their husbands’ growing restlessness and willing to take a bold chance to inject some oomph back into their marriages. Not surprisingly, the “dream come true” is far from paradise as the men’s initial perception of being single doesn’t jibe with reality. As for their wives, however, even though they didn’t ask for hall passes, their week away from marriage offers romantic opportunities they hadn’t even considered.

So, Hall Pass offers the expected scenarios involving a pair of “liberated” middle-age single guys and their buds (co-stars J.B. Smoove, Stephen Merchant and Larry Joe Campbell among them) as they hit singles bars, stuff their faces at buffets and nibble hash brownies on golf courses, all leading up to revelatory moments of truth for Wilson and Sudeikis. Ditto for the team of Fischer and Applegate, who fall into their own sexy situations a lot deeper than their hubbies but ultimately realize where their true feelings lie. The likability of the cast goes a long way in making the movie’s predictable turn of events and wrap-up a pleasant-enough viewing experience.

Of course, as it’s a Farrelly Brothers film, there’s no shortage of bodily fluids and public embarrassments tossed in along the way, including one sequence involving a lovely lady with an upset stomach who has a sneezing attack that yields particularly gross — and funny — results.

The nominal bonus features on the Blu-ray includes a gag reel, deleted scenes featuring Farrelly regular Richard Jenkins (Let Me In) as an middle-age hedonist who uses booze and weed to avoid getting cited for a traffic violation, and an extended cut of the film that adds six additional minutes of raunch ‘n’ roll.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.