Entertainment Magazine: Film: 2011: "Hall Pass"

Hall Pass - 7-Days of Nothing

By Miv Evans

This is a dull story about four dull people who take their spouses for granted and who, at the end of the film, stop taking their spouses for granted.

I know that's technically a spoiler but it's not exactly a twist and, when films are this banal, I assume no one intelligent enough to read reviews will watch it anyway.     

Rick (Owen Wilson) is married to Magee (Jenna Fischer) and they have three children. 

Their closest friends are Fred (Jason Sudeikis) and his wife Grace (Christina Applegate).

Magee overhears Rick and Fred fantasize about who they'd like to have an affair with and decides this is something she should discuss with Grace.  Dr Lucy (Joy Behar) is present during their conversation and suggests they give their husbands a 7-day Hall Pass, which means they can have a week off from their marriage. 

Magee and Grace agree and leave town so their spouses have space to do what they want.

The weakest idea in the world can work if the characters are memorable and relatable and struggle to make sense of their lives, just like we do.

But these four people have most things figured out and the only problem is that Rick and Fred check out other women, but as guys are hard-wired to do just that, it's hardly a real problem but obviously the filmmakers live on a different planet to the rest of us and think it is.

Whichever way, it's still a feeble idea to springboard a story and, with the characters needing no inner journey to repair their psyches, there's really nowhere left to go.    

Hall Pass Movie Trailer

Watch the Official "Hall Pass" movie trailer from the WB. Click on the white triangle to start the movie.

Hall Pass Movie Release Dates International:

Malaysia: 24 February 2011
Canada: 25 February 2011
USA: 25 February 2011
Hungary: 3 March 2011
Iceland: 4 March 2011
Germany: 10 March 2011
UK: 11 March 2011
Belgium: 16 March 2011
Slovenia: 17 March 2011
Netherlands: 31 March 2011
Portugal : 31 March 2011
Singapore: 7 April 2011
France: 20 April 2011
Finland : 22 April 2011

A character driven story, which is what this is, should stay true to its genre, but these characters are so paper-thin they keep running out of steam and the writers have to bring in props to keep the ball rolling.  First they drag in a chat show host to make a speech, and then Richard Jenkins makes a bizarre appearance posing as a How to Pick up Women Guru.

Things get even more desperate towards the end when the genre flips into action/farce, securing this film's swift path to DVD obscurity.    

It's hard to imagine who the target audience for this film is.  It tries to be about two guys behaving badly, but everything is so steeped in family issues it's not something young or single guys will want to see, and there's too much sexual content to make it family viewing.

Attempts at graphic toilet humor eliminate most females, which leaves married men over forty, but once they know it's the women in this film who make the sexual conquests, and not the guys, that hard-wiring of theirs might well blow a fuse and they won't be in a fit state to watch anything for quite some time. 


Miv Evans is a British businesswoman who relocated to Los Angeles in 2005. She previously had a comedy drama commissioned by BBC TV and sold her first film to REN Media International in 2008 which she wrote, directed and produced.

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