The Farrelly Brothers have never been noted for subtlety, but at their best the gross-out romantic comedies of Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin and There's Something about Mary had a certain loveable stupidity and brio.
Their quality kitemark has smudged of late, and with Hall Pass it seems to have disappeared altogether. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis play best friends whose wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate), fed up with their lechery, have granted them a week's "pass" to live the bachelor dream and indulge their horny instincts. Trouble is, these two don't have a clue about "the ladies" anymore; and the Farrellys don't have a clue about laughs. Where once there was cheek and even a little edge, now there's just a desperate giggliness, which even 14-year-old boys would find embarrassing. You may feel a little sorry for the stars, who perhaps thought the brothers still had some comic chops. Alas, they haven't.