Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'd Pass

On those nights when there is nothing to do, no one is returning your calls, and even the dog acts like she is doing you a favor by hanging out – it’s easy to start feeling a little down.  Maybe the feelings of isolation get you so bummed out that it’s all you can do to keep from polishing off a bottle of cheap cabernet and sending regrettable text messages to an ex (or something along those lines).  Well, when the blues set in, a constructive way to turn that frown upside-down would probably be to get a little exercise or do some volunteer work– but what I like to do instead, is ingest copious amounts of refined sugar and pop in a funny movie.  I tried my patented pick-me-up recently with the movie Hall Pass.  I almost immediately regretted not going the cheap-wine-and-embarrassing-text-message route.

There’s really no need to mince words about it – Hall Pass is a dud.  If I were able to get a friend on the phone, I’d describe the movie like this: (sigh) One of the Wilson brothers, the one with the broken nose, is married to Pam from The Office – and their marriage is a little rocky because she is dull and he is a libidinous man-child.   So to give him a chance to shake off some of his residual adolescence, she grants him a week off of marriage (is that what hall passes do?) and then the hilarity never ensues. 

It’s beyond me why they bothered hiring a comedic actress to play such a bore when there is perfectly tepid dishwater that could use the work.  Maybe it’s been decided that dude-centric inanity is only funny when mommy is around to disapprove.  But to be fair, the movie was really more of a buddy comedy than a marriage comedy (the BFF is played by SNL’s Jason Sudekis - who also, inexplicably, is granted a “Hall Pass”).  The film has a workable premise – watching grown men try to tomcat around a posh, suburban enclave, when clearly they have long been domesticated – but it comes off as a wannabe Old School.
There were some rosy elements to be appreciated in this stinker, foremost the soundtrack – which included the gravelly vocal stylings of one of my favorite bands, Deer Tick.  If you are unfamiliar with Deer Tick, they’re this great band out of Providence, RI (also the setting for the film) who last visited Lawrence in March.  When I saw them, the lead singer John McCauley was a huge mess – which actually kinda works for his bluesy-alt-country sound.  The band has a new album coming out in October, which I’m sure will find its way into the library collection – so that’s something to be excited about.

Come to think of it, if you’re willing to eat a jumbo bag of Twizzlers, everything feels like something to be excited about - except Hall Pass.
Ransom - Reference

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