Stephen Merchant (Co-creator of The Office) and J.B Smoove (the always-memorable Leon Black from Curb Your Enthusiasm) were severely underused as two of the ragtag buddies who start out the week accompanying Rick and Fred to witness their endless torment and rejection. The troupe's misadventures include a night out at a family-friendly rib joint, and a marijuana-affected golf outing. While Fred makes it his goal to get laid in any way possible (horrendous pick-up lines and mortifying embarrassment ensues), Rick sets his eyes on sexy Australian barista (Nicky Whelan) who he befriends and runs into on several occasions. The highlight of the film is certainly her 20 seconds of fame near the conclusion. After countless disappointments and failures, and when all hope seems lost, along comes their master womanizer, returned from Iceland, Coakley (Richard Jenkins). I found his cameo to be great. What can't and won't the man do? The events culminate in a nightclub/party sequence where the men seem to finally have found their suitors. Maggie and Grace have their share of the screen time too, and find their escape from their immature husbands to bring their own unexpected pleasures. They each find alternative suitors and are tempted to act on their own Hall Pass freedom. The wackiness of the final twenty minutes will be too much for some though.
This is pretty ordinary, lowbrow stuff and certainly not worth the price of admission these days. Gross-out, immature male comedies starring some arrangement of Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell (to name a few) come out seemingly every month, and get pretty tiresome. There is a moving quality to Hall Pass, the recaptured respect for their marriage and their lovely wives, that gives it a redeeming factor after the ordeal of fart and masturbation jokes. I would have rather seen more of Rick and Fred's buddies than another scene involving the nanny or the barista/DJ rival (terrible!). Wilson and Sudeikis are likable enough, Jenna Fischer looks gorgeous, and Richard Jenkins pulls off the best cameo. Overall, this is a very predictable guy comedy that will forever be lost amongst the countless variations of the same idea currently being pitched, but on a night where I had nowhere else to turn, it kept me moderately entertained. Fans of the Farrelly's work like Dumb and Dumber, or perhaps last years Date Night will find enjoyment here.
My Rating: 2 Stars (D+)