New on DVD/Blu-ray: Hall Pass (2011)

What’s a hall pass? It’s a week-long retreat from marriage, where you can do pretty much anything you want, including but not limited to picking up girls at bars and having your way with them — if, you know, you can actually pick them up. That’s the idea behind the Farrellys’ new comedy “Hall Pass”, arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital Download June 14, 2011 from Warner Home Video.

Best buddies Rick and Fred (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) have both been married for a long time. They love their wives, but, like some guys, just can’t help checking out every other woman who crosses their paths. Fed up with this habitual rubber-necking, their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) take a bold approach to revitalize their marriages by granting their husbands a “hall pass”: one week of freedom to do whatever they want, no questions asked. Seven days to see exactly what it is out there they think they’re missing…or stop looking once and for all. At first, it sounds like a dream come true for Rick and Fred. But they quickly discover that their expectations of the single life?and themselves?are completely and hilariously out of sync with reality.

Movie Review:

When their insatiably horny husbands Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) get on their last nerves, wives Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate) decide to teach the bums a lesson by offering the best friends a hall pass, essentially a free “get out of jail card” to do whatever they want for an entire week. The boys are ecstatic, but eventually discover that just because you have the freedom to do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to. Picking up chicks, as it turns out, is way harder than they had expected. Of course, it doesn’t help that they spend most of their free days getting high and pigging out at the local Applebees.

From the guys who gave us “There’s Something About Mary”, “Kingpin” and “Dumb and Dumber”, “Hall Pass” is surprisingly on the tame side for the brothers Farrelly. Despite an R-rating (which includes one out-of-nowhere dick joke and a spontaneous poop gag), it sometimes feels like the brothers are encumbered by their one “big idea” — the notion of a hall pass from marriage — and can never really break away into wilder territory as a result. There are a couple of chuckle-worthy moments (Fred’s spank bank eye-camera, for one), and pretty much anything with “Saturday Night Live” player Jason Sudeikis trying to get some sex is good for a laugh. Owen Wilson plays the average, regular good guy well enough, but make no mistake, the jokes here are all courtesy of Sudeikis, who at times looks like he’s in one of his “SNL” skits.

While the boys are on the town and trying to get laid, the girls retreat upstate, where they end up indulging in their own impromptu hall pass. Hunky baseball players and romancing baseball coaches enter the picture, giving Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate something to do when we’re not watching the hapless Rick and Fred try to pick up women. Supporting turns by Aussie Nicky Whelan as a gorgeous coffee barista and “White Collar’s” Alexandra Daddario as Rick’s nanny livens things up, while a subplot about a jealous co-worker of Whelan’s fizzles, though it does result in the film’s most ludicrous gag involving guns, Fred’s prized mini-van, and the cops. I like the completely arbitrary use of the “Law and Order” musical sting to denote the passing of the hall pass days, though.

Blu-ray Combo Pack Review:

The combo pack comes with two versions of the movie, the original theatrical release, and an extended cut that is six minutes longer.

Special features include four and a half minutes worth of deleted scenes featuring more of Coakley (Richard Jenkins) doing his thing, plus two minutes of gag reel Tomfoolery.

Buy “Hall Pass” on DVD and Blu-ray June 14, 2011 from Warner Home Video.