A pair of serial “gawkers” are getting into awkward spots in their marriages until their wives offer them a 6-day “Hall Pass” that grants them freedom to act as single men for that time. As each couple go their separate ways, each do battle with the temptation to act on their freedom, versus learn some sort of lesson about the virtues of domestic monogamy.
Each scene has the actors standing in such a staged manner that nothing feels natural about this film. Not that the token R-rated language and lowbrow gags didn’t already give that effect, but there is something to be said about actors being able to deliver their lines without cheating their bodies towards the audience, as if this were a theatre production. If only this were some magical new form of performing where a camera is able to show the audience angles of a performer we cannot see from stage, without the actor having to move at all! My goodness, what a marvel that would be! Alas, the Farrely bros have forgotten what century we live in and let each scene look the first off-book day for amateurs in an Intro to Comedy Acting course.
The concept of a “hall pass” does pose some interesting moral questions about what it means to be faithful, what does monogamy matter, and what does one truly want from a relationship, but all of these get deflated by the incessant gags. Whenever someone seems close to a revelation, someone takes a projective crap on wall, or a manaic starts smashing a car, or a British person feeds them pot-brownies.
Frankly, we don’t need another film about suburban white males who want to lionize themselves by acting like frat-boys, only to have the good times and life lessons delivered on a platter. These men are dweebs who are dealing with problems that shouldn’t exist in the first place but were too inept to handle it properly at the start. This is neither a marriage counseling session nor an amusing romp. This is two half-good ideas trying to meet in the middle, but instead they collide and shatter.
Widescreen 2.4:1. The HD really brings out the bad tans on the various actors. Unflattering looks aside, this is a pretty decent presentation. There is not a lot of visual dynamics, but whatever is there is clean.
DTS:HD Master Audio 5.1 in English plus Dolby Digital 5.1 is available in Spanish and French in the Theatrical version.
Like the Video, there is not a whole lot to present but that doesn’t mean the makers of the Blu Ray slouch in this category. The dialogue is very clear, which is about the only thing I can use as a measuring device. A fine enough job done.
Subtitles available in English, French and Spanish.
Deleted Scene: Richard Jenkins’ super-smooth character gets pulled over and demonstrates his strategy for avoiding a ticket. Amusing enough but certainly makes you like him less…since he is committing a dangerous crime by drinking and driving.
Gag Reel: Amy Fischer, in the last blooper, states that this will be the most boring blooper reel ever. My goodness, how she may be right. Snore. Skip it.
I will note that I reviewed the theatrical release and not the “Extended Cut.” I chose this because the extended cut offers more gags, and I since they were faltering in the Theatrical cut, there was no need to attack them further.
Some folks may get some smiles from this, but your time can be better spent watching an older, more silly, Farrelly Bros comedy or some other manboy adventure like Old School or Brothers Soloman. I should mention, even just in passing, that the female leads GREATLY out acted the males…just in case anyone wanted to keep some sort of men vs. woman score for this film.