Being a married guy is a tricky proposition. On the one hand, they have the security and stability of domestic life. And on the other hand, many men often wish they could still roam wild and free, ogling or even hitting on anything that moves. But what do you do when 20 years of marriage start to grate on you?
Do you slide into silent resentment of each other? Or do you possibly give yourself and your spouse a "hall pass' - a week off from marriage that's designed to let you take a walk on the wild side in the hopes of making you appreciate each other again?
That's the intriguing premise of "Hall Pass," the latest outrageous comedy from writer-directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly. The film follows the antics of Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis), good family men who are nonetheless horny and bored from years of family life.
Their wives (played by Christina Applegate and Jenna Fischer) encounter a psychiatrist (Joy Behar), who suggests the "hall pass" to save their marriages. But as the guys are cheered on by their chorus of buddies, they find that hooking up is way harder than they remember.
And as their wives head off on their own weeklong vacation, they find surprising temptations of their own.
"Hall Pass" is easily the funniest movie the Farrelly Brothers have made since their trio of classics in the 1990s: "Dumb and Dumber," "Kingpin" and "There's Something About Mary." It's a welcome return to no-holds-barred yet clever raunch after they fell off track into sentimentality with "Stuck on You" and "Fever Pitch."
Here, they have struck comic gold with a universal dilemma and aren't gunshy about exploring nearly every comedic angle, from outrageously funny dialogue through at least three shockingly funny setpieces that give "Mary" a run for Its money.
They also expertly walk a daringly fine line: we're supposed to root for them to "score," yet the moment they would actually cross the line, they would lose most of our sympathy. The inventive array of complications our guys encounter keeps things zipping along, while the ace cast makes the audience wonder what they themselves would do each step of the way.