I saw the movie Hall Pass on Saturday night with a couple of my married guy friends. I like the Farrelly brothers because their movies are slapstick funny, occasionally smart as a whip and—let’s face it—I’m a guy who loves scatological humor. So a movie about frustrated 40-ish married guys getting a permission slip for a week off of marriage and fumbling miserably along the way seemed perfect.
If you’re looking for a movie review that’s not my intent. I’ll just say that if you go into it with minimum expectations and the realization you’re about to see some stupid-funny shit, you’ll like it. But it wasn’t the gags and gross-out scenes that prompted this post. It’s the message.
And the message is “Married guys crave a Hall Pass because they’re bored with their wives and want a week off from marriage to fuck other women.”
But I just don’t think that’s true. I mean sure, there are married guys out there who want to (and have) cheat. But I don’t think they’re the majority. I’m totally in love with my wife and I’m not bored with her at all. If anything, things in the romance department are better now than they were five years ago when I married her. Likewise, most of the guys I know are still very much sexually attracted to their wives. So telling us to stop being with the person we already love being with really doesn’t make much sense, and the whole idea of a sexual Hall Pass becomes moot.
I think the Farrelly brothers made a mistake by focusing on the sexual part of the Pass. I want a Hall Pass of a different variety. I crave not the temporary freedom to have sex with other women. I have no interest in going to the hottest club and flirting, dancing and grinding up on attractive women to feel better about my advancing years. You know what I (and many married men) want?
I want a Hall Pass that gives me the freedom to shirk my responsibilities for a week.
The immediate question is what would guys do with that week. It’s gonna depend on the guy. I have married male friends who would use it to prepare for their fantasy football draft or play video games the whole time. Others would go to the bar for a week-long bender, or gamble at the casino. Personally, I’d gather all my friends in an RV and drive across the country, hitting up different baseball stadiums along the way. I wouldn’t work, I wouldn’t have a kid to take care of or a wife looking over my shoulder. We’d eat junk all day, tell all our old stories, crack very inappropriate jokes and have the time of our lives. Would that RV resemble a testosterone-fueled, drunken (except for the driver), ass-reeking, mobile shit storm? Hell yes it would. And it would be utterly fantastic.
Not to spoil the movie, but at first that’s exactly what Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis do (minus the RV). Although they talk a lot of smack about bedding as many members of the fairer sex as possible, their first two days of the Hall Pass are spent with their friends. They eat to their heart’s content at Applebees. They go on golfing excursions. They get drunk together at bars. That is exactly how I’d want to cash in my Hall Pass. Basically reliving my college years for a week with my friends, minus all the sexual escapades.
Although I enjoyed the movie, I think the Farrelly brothers didn’t give men enough credit in general. Most of us don’t truly believe we can bang supermodels, and I can only speak for myself but I wouldn’t want to even if I could. Maybe we’d like to have more sex with our wives, but we certainly don’t want to step outside of our marriage for physical intimacy. But what we do want is a small taste of the carefree life we lived years ago.
And I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.