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Finally time for a new review...

Hall Pass (2011, directed by the Farelly Brothers)

3 out of 5 stars

Have you ever noticed that most, if not all of the current "regressive" comedies out these days are secretly conservative in their values? In Wedding Crashers, which more or less started the trend, two hormone addled buddies go to weddings to score with the bridesmaids, only to find that what they were really looking for was love, not no strings attached sex. That's pretty much the same plot of The 40 Year Old Virgin, and for that matter, Knocked Up. Man-Children grow up with the help of women who are smarter than they are...And that's kind of what you're in for with Hall Pass, too. Raunchy, gross, knuckle-headed laughs with a heart felt ending. But the laughs were enough for me to recommend this one, actually.

In the film, two guys (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudekis) have grown bored with married life. Wilson can't get any alone time with his gorgeous, supportive wife (Jenna Fischer) because of their three kids, so his eye and his mind start to stray, and Sudekis is feeling caged by his fairly high maintenance wife (Christina Applegate), both of them lust after a hot barrista at the local coffee shop (Nicky Whelan) and their rampant hormones and sexism get them into trouble with both friends and family. Their wives decide that to save their marriages, they need to give their husbands a "Hall Pass," one week off from marriage to get this all out of their system. The two guys are thrilled at first, but it soon becomes apparent that their days of being able to pick up hot women may be long behind them. Meanwhile, their wives decide to get in on the deal too...

I like the Farelly Brothers as filmmakers. They make, for the most part, very funny major studio comedies. Nothing really challenging or artistic, but good for a few laughs. Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, There's Something About Mary, and Fever Pitch remain their best films, but after a string of mediocre (Me Myself and Irene, Shallow Hal) to plain awful films (Stuck on You, The Ringer,The Heartbreak Kid), this one is a bit of a return to form. It doesn't preach like their worst films can do, but it isn't as fall down funny as their best. I laughed enough to say it's worth your time. Jason Sudekis (consistently one of the funnier performers from the current SNL cast) gets the better of the two parts as Owen Wilson's horn dog buddy who has a list of pick up lines and no game, and delivers a lot of the funniest moments in the film. I think he works better because Owen Wilson is just too likeable in a hippie sheepdog sort of way. I don't believe for a second that he'd really cheat on his wife. For that matter, Jenna Fischer is too darn loveable, she's like the girl next door, you can't imagine her being unfaithful either, so you kind of already know how this will end. But Sudekis and Applegate bring a bit of edge to their characters, so they get to shine, comedy wise.

I'd watch this movie again, it made me laugh, a few times very loudly, and that's good enough for me.