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Hall Pass


Stars: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Nicky Whelan, Stephen Merchant, Richard Jenkins, Vanessa Angel, Alyssa Milano, Larry Joe Campbell, Kathy Griffin

Director: Peter & Bobby Farrelly

This being a Farrelly Brothers film, there are lots of anatomical jokes. You'll find very few laughs, though, in this yarn of two girl-ogling family guys (Wilson, Sudeikis) whose comely wives (Fischer, Applegate) give their exasperating husbands a 'hall pass', or week off from marriage, to satisfy their cravings.

After a disastrous first few days, Sudeikis and spouse both have sort-of flings, while the 'good' Wilson and Fischer resist temptation (just about) and end up in each other's arms.

The film does attempt to say something quite serious beneath its scatological surface, but never convinces us that it has anything remotely to do with real life - which is what it needs to hit our emotional nerve. Still, Jenkins enjoys himself in a very different kind of role to the ones he usually plays, and Aussie actress Whelan is a real looker as Wilson's temptation-in-chief.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour.
105 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 07 Mar 2011