When I first heard about Hall Pass I thought the plot sounded like two former frat boys thought it up while sneaking beers in the garage on a Sunday afternoon but I figured that with the right elements it could be fun albeit pretty forgettable. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be the exact opposite. I’ll probably never forget the two times I had to watch this film – once for the theatrical cut and a second time for the extended or “enlarged ” cut – and I can’t say that I had any fun other than my struggle to figure out what mystical force turned the always-charming Jason Sudeikis into a sleezy unfunny manchild and how Jenna Fischer managed to be so mysteriously orange throughout the entire 105 minutes.
The plot of this Farelly Brothers buddy comedy finds two happily married men Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Sudeikis) feeling a little restless in their very average lives. Their wives (Fisher and Christina Applegate) give them each a week off from marriage as a solution. Rick and Fred have 7 days to work out their wiggles and as you probably saw in the trailer this consists mostly of eating pot brownies striking out at Chili’s and uttering man-card-revoking phrases like “Freddy ty-ty.” Of course the only comedy bits not revealed in the trailer are things you probably didn’t want to see anyway like Sudeikis masturbating in his car or a would conquest leaving him a messy surprise. I’d like to say I’m leaving those details out as to avoid spoilers but I just don’t want to think about it long enough to figure out how to describe it gracefully.
As for the disgustingly-named “Enlarged” version of the movie one of only three special features on the Blu-ray you should only expand to the extra footage version if you’re trying to kill time or you want to see how uncomfortable you can make the dude looking over your shoulder while you watch this movie on a plane. It just adds more of the dick jokes raunchy bits and other gags that weren’t all that funny in the original cut.
When it comes to the other two features – deleted scenes and the gag reel – the only one worth spending your time on is the gag reel. The fact of the matter is that this film has many things that should work. Fischer Sudeikis Wilson and Applegate are almost always good for a laugh. Dirty jokes are great especially when you know that’s what you’re signing up for…unfortunately there’s that pesky requirement about them having to be well-written as well. Luckily in the gag reel we can see that these actors are still funny charming and lovable. It’s just too bad the film itself doesn’t show us that.
Hall Pass hits stores June 14.