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Hollywood East by Mallory

Don't Take a Pass from the Farrelly Brothers Hall Pass

Hall Pass is great fun for both men and women. The Farrelly brothers -- who directed this laugh fest -- rock. Public opinion is raped. Run for the hills from this film if you can't laugh at your humanness. Even scatological jokes work.

The plot is about couples who are bored with each other seeking a break from the doldrums of marriage. They decide to take a week off from each other and play the field. The husbands have been eying women and the women have been faking their shut eye because they do not want to have sex. These women feel ignored and want to be made to feel special. That spark has left the marriages. Chaos ensues. The Farrelly Bros writing -- along with Pete Jones's and Kevin Barnett's -- is top notch, hip with phrases that you want to write down to impress.

Owen Wilson plays his character, Rick, with just the right amount of conviction and manages to be both appealing and controversial to the point that he literally is staring at two male genitalia within inches of his face while exiting a jacuzzi. One of these appendages is perhaps the largest specimen seen to man or woman while the other is the smallest. The camera stays a long time on these images thus perhaps setting a record for a non porno film's showing of graphic genitalia. There is no reason for this scene plot wise other than shock value and that it does as well bring down the house in laughter. Gratuitous male nudity, refreshing. This film is about anything for a laugh and it works because of this.

Grace (Christina Applegate ) is a delight as a wife who 'gets lucky' while her husband doesn't; though while on his Hall Pass he tries hard to score even to the point of getting a black eye and faking oral sex in a sleazy motel with a baby sitter's mother. Horny Old Men is spray painted in large letters on his car by a boyfriend of one of the frustrated husband's targets.

Grace's husband, Fred, (Jason Sudeiki) is a breath of Saturday-Night-Live-fresh-air where he is a regular. Rick's wife, Maggie (Jenna Fischer) plays her role genuinely which helps the humor sustain its guffaws and any lulls. A gorgeous Australian, Leigh (Nicky Whelan) delivers her lines with energy and without shame though she is a having an affair that is not de rigeur in its execution. It is Richard Jenkins as an aging swinger who comes close to stealing the film. He is able to walk into a disco and size up the women as to their availability for instant sex. Speed dating is his specialty. Instead of playing this broadly, his sincerity as shown by his choices makes for the humor.

The cast works dynamically as an ensemble while the editing is fast paced and keep the laughs moving. The production values such as lighting could step up to the plate as Owen Wilson looks pale and not his glowing Adonis-like self, but never mind. See this film if you like to laugh. Bring Kleenex for your tears of laughter. Long live the fearless Farrelly Brothers.
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