Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 9
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
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Cinema

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

CRUISING FOR SOME BABES TO PICK UP: Rick (Owen Wilson, driving) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis, seated), who are accompanied by their pals Gary (Stephen Merchant, standing left) and Hog Head (Larry joe Campbell), are looking for some women to hook up with. This situation came about because Rick and Fred’s wives gave them a week of no-questions-asked freedom to pursue their fantasies about women with the promise of no adverse consequences to their marriages.

Hall Pass: Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis Co-star in Buddy Comedy

Kam Williams

Peter and Bobby Farrelly are known for cranking out crude films such as Dumb & Dumber (1994), There’s Something About Mary (1998), Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Shallow Hal (2001), and Stuck on You (2003). Owen Wilson, on the other hand, is a serious actor known for his droll sense of humor. He was also a scriptwriter for The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore (1998); and had roles in The Life Aquatic with Steve Sissou (2004) and The Darjeeling Limited (2007).

So, when you hear that the Farrelly Brothers wrote and directed Hall Pass, you figure something had to give. And if you’re wondering whether Owen’s subtle, tongue-in-cheek demeanor is compatible with their preference for boorish behavior, it isn’t, and depravity prevails in this vulgar movie.

Still, faithful Farrelly fans won’t be disappointed by this bawdy comedy that is laced with coarse dialogue, nudity, sophomoric slapstick and bodily function humor. The plot is a series of excuses to feature scatology and debauchery.

Hall Pass unfolds in Rhode Island where we find best friends Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) constantly commiserating about their stale sex lives. Soon their wives, Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate), become so fed up with watching their husbands ogling other women that they decide to give them each a “hall pass,” meaning a week of freedom to philander with no questions asked.

Incredulous about their wives’ free-thinking generosity, Rick and Fred leap at the opportunity, anticipating that their wildest fantasies are about to be realized. However, they prove to be inept at attracting women. And their odds of picking up women are further diminished because they invited their pals Hog-Head (Larry Joe Campbell), Flats (J.B. Smoove), and gawky-looking Gary (Stephen Merchant), to join in the fun.

While Rick and Fred are repeatedly striking out with women, the plot thickens when their spouses are seduced by ardent admirers. Will the guys wise up and beg their neglected wives for forgiveness before any wedding vows are broken?

A change of heart conveniently leads to a resolution that’s quite implausible given the previous ninety minutes of foot-loose and fancy-free antics.

Good (2 stars). Rated R for profanity, sexuality, drug use, nudity, and crude humor. Running time: 98 minutes. Distributor: Warner Brothers.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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