Monday, April 11, 2011

Hallpass Now Showing

Hall Pass - one week off from marriage to do whatever you want, no questions asked.

Warner Bros. new comedy film, Hall Pass,  is a tale of two husbands that scores a week off from marriage while their mates anxiously await their developments. Best buddies Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) consider themselves average, maybe even above-average, husbands. They are the the kind of guys who wouldn't dream of cheating on their wives. Well, actually they would. Not cheat on them, necessarily, but dream about it. Every single day. With every woman they see.

Fred (Jason Sudeikis)
  “Rick and Fred aren’t the coolest guys in the world but they don’t know that,” Sudeikis describes his and Wilson characters. “I always find it funny when people think they’re so sharp and act like know what they’re talking about when, clearly, they don’t.”

Sudeikis believes the characters' quandary about marriage will resonate with audiences because, “I can imagine the conversations being had after people see it. You’re laughing and having a good time, then, afterwards, you might be asking each other, ‘What would you do if you had a hall pass? Could you handle it?’ I think it could open up many cans with many worms.”  

Unlike Wilson's character Rick who's more of a straight-laced husband, Fred is free to be the wild card and the instigator—or the perfect wingman. Comparing his character with that of his onscreen partner-in-crime, Sudeikis observes, “Rick is more thoughtful about the hall pass, asking himself, ‘Should I be doing this? Is it a good idea?,’ whereas Fred is gung-ho. He’s like, ‘Let’s do it!’ Fred is the guy who, if they were discussing a plan on the battlefield, would take off before the plan is fully explained. He’d be the first one out of the foxhole.” 

Rick (Owen Wilson)
 “Rick is happily married, with kids and a wife he loves. He has a good job, a nice existence but, like a lot of men, he can’t help noticing women and this irritates his wife,” says co-director Peter Farrelly.
 “It’s more Rick’s emotional arc that propels the story so it’s important that the audience likes him,” notes co-director Bobby Farrelly. “That’s one of the reasons we cast Owen Wilson, because he has such an inherent likeability and decency. He’s very funny, but also someone you can get behind and want to support.” In such a potentially polarizing role, being able to convey that core decency is key.

The Wives also got their hall pass! To allow Rick and Fred some space for the week, as well as themselves, the women Maggie (Jenna Fisher) and Grace (Christina Applegate) head out of town to Maggie’s parents’ home in Cape Cod. Two days later, tanned and relaxed in the stands at a Minor League baseball game, Grace attracts the flattering attention of Gerry, a confident, young hard-bodied first baseman, played by Tyler Hoechlin, while Grace is approached by the team’s suave coach, coincidentally named Rick, played by Bruce Thomas.

 “It has to go both ways. That’s key to unlocking the story, making it fair and opening it up for everyone,” says Peter Farrelly. Not only fair, but, as Bradley Thomas points out, more honest. “If you make a movie about two guys who get a hall pass while their wives are sitting at home, hoping and praying they don’t do anything, that’s just baloney. It’s not real. I’m sure that if these two guys are looking at other women, then other guys are checking out their wives, too.”  By throwing the wives into the breach along with their husbands, Hall Pass not only doubles the story’s comedic possibilities but raises the emotional stakes. 

Find out what the two couples did for a week off their marriage. Hall Pass is now showing in your favorite theater, a New Line Cinema presentation distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


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