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Farrelly Brothers’ “Hall Pass” Makes Extramarital Sex Look Hard

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Posted on November 8 2010 4:00 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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What if your spouse gave you a “week off marriage” to do whatever you wanted without consequence? Such is the premise of an upcoming comedy from the Farrelly Brothers.

Despite the swinging setup, Hall Pass seems likely to convey fairly conservative sentiments. The laughs emerge from a clash between expectation and reality, what the film’s men imagine “freedom” from marriage will bring and what really happens.

Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis play best friends, each married to winsome wives. Life is treating them well. They seem to want for nothing. Yet, each covet extramarital adventure. When their wandering eyes become embarrassingly obvious, the men’s wives decide that the best way to set things right is to let them have what they want.

What follows appears to be a raucous comic ode to the seven year itch. It soon becomes clear that these men’s appetite for sexual adventure is out of sync with both their age and their domestication.

If the final film is true to the trailer, expect a comedy with a fair amount of insight. To have tackled this concept, the all male screenwriting team must have been aware of their own absurd fantasies and relational faults.

Marriage is, among other things, an environment which provides a degree of emotional security. When we are safe, we tend to fancy ourselves more capable than we actually are. Or, as harpy Joy Behar puts it in what will hopefully be only a cameo…

“Most married men believe that, if not for [their wives], they could actually be with these other women.

This effort could go a couple of ways. Hopefully, Hall Pass will end up affirming the ideal of marriage without badgering the male leads too much. The inclusion of Behar is worrisome, but perhaps not indicative of the film’s overall tone. One way to ruin the otherwise solid concept would be to skew toward male-bashing.

Surely, these characters will discover that anything they can do outside marriage is dwarfed by what their wives could accomplish. It would be a shame, however, if jealousy were their only reason for the predictable reconciliation. Hopefully, the script will include some deeper epiphany regarding the value of fidelity.

Then again, these are the directors who brought us There’s Something About Mary, which means there is just as much possibility there will be no moral to the story whatsoever. We’ll find out on February 25th.

Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota’s North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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