johnlink ranks HALL PASS (2011)

Having seen far too few of the Oscar films, I watched the opening with Billy Crystal and then turned on HALL PASS. I thought about watching an Oscar winner of the past, perhaps even BLACK SWAN (which I vow to watch within the next month). Instead I somehow ended up watching this comedy from fellow Cumberlandites the Farrelly Brothers.

I watched HALL PASS (2011) on 2.26.12. It was my first viewing of the film.

This movie is the reason I say I don’t particularly like comedies. It’s not that there is anything terribly wrong with this movie. It has moments which made me laugh out loud. It has a decent premise, with two married guys being given a week off from marriage to do whatever and whomever they want. It has a decent heart (which not all comedies these days do). I did appreciate the external shots of Providence and the Rhode Island feel the film had. The performances by Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, and Stephen Merchant are all fine.

But at the end of this thing I just sort of shrugged and said ‘eh’. I mean I hated the role another Cumberland resident Richard Jenkins played, and the introduction of his character is where the movie goes south for awhile (no fault of his own, the writing is misguided in the club scene). But other than that bit there was nothing I strongly disliked.

The Farrellys almost need a third director. Someone to keep them focused. They tell a story in the real world and then add these completely oddball things after the reality of the film had already been established. The club scene, with girls with gnarly hands and a woman who gets uglier when you take away her friends, absolutely ruin the aesthetic the film has built.

I will say that I like that the women are not just there. Fischer and Applegate really get fully fleshed out characters, something the Farrellys certainly don’t always do. And Owen Wilson gives a great  heartfelt speech about his family in an otherwise blandly written film. But there is no total to these nice parts.

Plenty of poop humor. Plenty of boob humor. Plenty of penis humor. Some of it funny, some of it not. I can’t imagine a reason to see this again, but I wouldn’t outright reject the possibility. I guess that’s the definition of mediocrity in film.





~ by johnlink00 on February 27, 2012.

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