Saturday, 26 February 2011 01:31
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The critics weigh in on whether Farrelly brothers' latest is worth getting out of class.
By Eric Ditzian
Like "Unknown," the film has received mixed reviews, but in these early, often barren months at the multiplex, that hardly matters. Check out what the critics are saying about "Hall Pass."
"Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) are a pair of husbands whose marriages are, at this point, held together by their urges to check out other women. Their wives, Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate), are as bored with their husbands' straying eyes as their husbands are with marriage. Rick and Fred are released back into the wild by their wives, Lucy and Ethel — I mean, Maggie and Grace — and given a week free of marriage responsibility. The men are allowed seven days to pursue the girls of their dreams. It's charming that 'Pass' realizes how flimsy it is, conceptually; the women causing the domestic tedium are played by actresses who, when they were dewier, played the girls that caused men to drive into trees — a throwaway joke itself. And the movie is self-aware enough to toy with the misogyny of its premise; Maggie and Grace suspect their men wouldn't know what to do with freedom." — Elvis Mitchell, Movieline
" 'Hall Pass' presents these men as a new archetype: the frustrated middle-aged husband as randy adolescent virgin. Wilson, geeked out in super-square hair, knows how to use his gentleness to turn himself into a figure of soft desperation. And 'Saturday Night Live' 's Sudeikis, in his first major movie role, has an agreeably dorky, bootlicking officiousness. (Fred thinks that he's scored a victory if he figures out how to look at a woman's behind without his wife seeing him.) They are so domesticated, the joke is they don't even know their pent-up sexual frustration is driving them nuts." — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
The Laughs and the Look
"The slapstick and action comedy interludes are haphazardly executed at best, and matters aren't helped by the film's incredibly ugly look; for whatever reason, the productions from New Line Cinema since its absorption by Warner Bros. appear poorly lighted, processed and/or printed, resulting in blotchy, bleachy results that do no favors to the actors." — Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
"Like many comedies, 'Hall Pass' is more a succession of gags and skits than an actual movie; when it reaches for something more than low-rent laughs, it really slips. The attempted commentary on love, fidelity and appreciation are off-putting, a side plot about a violent psycho simply bizarre. Wilson doesn't seem to be trying, and Fischer and Applegate, typically game for anything, are given nothing worthwhile to do. What laughs there are come mostly courtesy of Sudeikis and, of all people, Richard Jenkins in a surprising role. Also, the description 'gross-out comedy' has rarely been more apt. Except maybe for the comedy part." — Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic
How Does It Compare to Past Farrelly Flicks?
"Those cheerful shlockmeisters Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who co-wrote and directed the film, are more laid-back here than they were in 'There's Something About Mary,' 'Kingpin' or 'Dumb and Dumber.' They make you laugh at some pretty revolting things, and the ratio of sexual/scatological giggles to groaners is high. But the brothers dialed back the lewd lunatic energy that is their signature. The film's longest-running gag is that the men, sprung from the straitjacket of monogamy, leer at almost every woman they get near, but are too square and meek to score." — Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The critics weigh in on whether Farrelly brothers' latest is worth getting out of class. By Eric Ditzian Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson in Last weekend, Liam Neeson's "Unknown" pulled off a...
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