|Fischer, Wilson, Sudeikis and Applegate|
I didn't like Hall Pass. There are two things about it I did like:
- Stephen Merchant. Further proof that the early, 'good' Ricky Gervais sitcoms were probably largely influenced by Merchant as opposed to Gervais himself. Charmingly British, and stay after the credits for what is by some distance the funniest part of the film.
- Jenna Fischer. A likable, warm performance even if her character has one less dimension than the typical 2D computer game. Much more appealing than the cast of shallow, manufactured characters the film insists on telling us are ever so appealing and attractive. I'll make up my own mind, cheers.
- The plot: a contrived beginning, a contrived middle, and a contrived end. Not a single surprise in the whole fricking thing. Read a one line plot synopsis - "two wives give their husbands a week off marriage, with hilarious results" - and you'll probably guess the entire plot. Hint and minor spoiler: happily ever after.
- The comedy: it was about the time the film insisted on getting its characters high on pot brownies (the laziest excuse for a comedic set piece in the comic writers' handbook) and making a big hairy deal about it that I realised this film wasn't very funny. Every joke is explained or emphasised to within an inch of its life, just in case the audience is left behind and needs the punchline explained to them again, and occasionally again. There's the odd gross out moment that tries way too hard. Remember the zip bubble from There's Something About Mary? Far funnier than any of the poop and penis gags on display (very literally, unfortunately) here.
- The non Merchant / Fischer performances: what a waste of a talented cast. What in the name of hell is Richard Jenkins doing here? Someone call Thomas McCarthy ASAP! Owen Wilson plays Owen Wilson. Jason Sudeikis is useless in a dreadfully written role. Supporting cast underused or at worst barely present.
- A slightly unsettling misogynistic undercurrent and distressingly simplistic concept of 'gender'. Males are obsessed with sex and nothing else (until love conquers all, naturally). Most women are moany or sex objects, sometimes both. Man are from mars, women from venus etc...: the stuff of comedy fail.
- Snow Patrol. Oh dear. Nothing worse than Hollywood trying to be hip and failing spectacularly. Snow Patrol. ROFL.
- The Farrelly Brothers: where did it all go wrong guys?