For being such an accomplished screenwriter, Owen Wilson sure has a bad nose for scripts. 'Hall Pass' is as phony as they come -- a plasticine, high-concept sex comedy so far removed from human reason that you go beyond feeling sorry for the cast and start to hold them in open contempt. In a mere 105 minutes, the Farrelly Brothers work very hard to extinguish Owen Wilson's star power, kill Jason Sudeikis's movie career before it even starts, and paint the lovely Jenna Fischer an ungodly shade of Hulk Hogan orange. If 'Hall Pass' is even remotely indicative of modern sexual politics, a lifelong vow of chastity looks incredibly appealing right about now.

Take, for example, a scene in which Wilson's character verbally dresses down a barista. Family man Wilson's been given a "hall pass" by his frustrated wife (Fischer) -- a one-week break from all the commitments of marriage, including sexual fidelity. Because no one in this film behaves like an actual person, Wilson immediately starts chasing tail, specifically an Australian bombshell (Nicky Whelan) who works at his local coffee shop. This enrages her intensely jealous co-worker to the point where he finally speaks up when Wilson's ogling goes too far. Wilson gives him a verbal beatdown in return, meant to be hilarious, all about Wilson's superior social station in life (un-ironically delivered while wearing a Harvard T-shirt), but the scene only comes across as ugly and cruel.
categories Reviews, Cinematical