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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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“Hall Pass,” filmed in Atlanta, a dreadful mess

See the Whynatte on the table? Nice product placement, bad film. Photo credit: imdb.com

See the Whynatte on the table? Nice product placement, bad film. Photo credit: imdb.com

“Hall Pass,” which was filmed in Atlanta and stars Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate and Jason Sudeikis, is out this Friday. If Gov. Nathan Deal sees it he’s going to rush through an executive order rescinding filmmaker tax breaks in Georgia.

It’s that bad.

Wilson and Sudeikis play two married dudes whose eyes bug out of their heads every time a pretty young female crosses their paths. (Never mind their wives are the lovely Fischer and Applegate).

Fed up with with their husbands’ antics the girls give them a week off from their obligations as married men, thanks to the advice of their sage counselor neighbor played Joy Behar - who sticks around long enough for one scene and wisely exits.

(Alyssa Milano also makes a brief appearance. Actually, her massively enhanced chest does. We can’t remember if she even has any lines.)

Left to their own devices the guys defile a golf course, cruise for chicks at Applebee’s and end up realizing they love their families.

That’s not a spoiler – the movie is utterly predictable, and anyway, if you have any sense you’ll skip this Farrelly brothers heap that the New York Observer correctly calls “garbage waiting for the dump truck.” Thin plot, poor character development, toilet humor, cultural insensitivity, general raunchiness? Check, check, check, check, check.

While the movie is set in Rhode Island (mercifully) it was filmed here last year, so if you look closely you’ll spot some local landmarks. Let us be clear: this is a dreadful film and we recommend staring at the sun rather than spending money to go see it. However if you are kidnapped and forced to watch it at gunpoint, here are some local spots to look for. A club scene was shot at the Gold Room on Piedmont Avenue. During another scene the guys are chugging cans of Whynatte, the locally based coffee drink. Gwinnett Medical Center was the site for a hospital scene although it is changed to “Falmouth Hospital” for the film (Foul Mouth, get it? Clever).

And good old Johnny’s Hideway, that venerable lounge, gets huge love from the film. Unlike other places the filmmakers didn’t bother changing the name so Johnny’s sign is prominently featured a number of times.

We were told that after the scenes filmed there last year, the cast came back to Johnny’s just for fun. We’re guessing they needed a drink.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

78 comments Add your comment

John

February 23rd, 2011
8:40 am

‘Thin plot, poor character development, toilet humor, cultural insensitivity, general raunchiness’….isn’t that what makes a great movie? Is it to me! Besides, its humor, not real life.

Mike Durango

February 23rd, 2011
8:43 am

I didn’t buy the premise that a guy would ever need or want a hall pass from Jenna Fischer anyway.

Home of the new B movies?

February 23rd, 2011
8:45 am

If we are going to get bad movies filmed here (Hall Pass, Mean Girls 2, etc.), why not a B movie monster flick for SyFy? Maybe that way we could get some old buildings knocked down without tax payer expense. I’d like to see “The Blob” make it’s way through MidTown and DownTown, or use Piedmont Park’s lake to recreate Swamp Thing. There are a ton of good ideas out there to take advantage of Atlanta’s problems. Johnny’s isn’t the problem, but what if Swamp Thing went to Johnny’s? See, genius there!

Justin Beaver

February 23rd, 2011
8:45 am

While they were filming Owen and some other cast were hanging out with me at my pad in the CCS. The applebees scene was in Johns Creek on 141

AJC Negative Blogger

February 23rd, 2011
8:48 am

You know, sometimes reviews this bad make me want to see the movie (OnDemand of course). It’s like shooting the moon in Hearts.

drew

February 23rd, 2011
8:48 am

Falmouth is a real hospital on Cape Cod…not too far from RI

Stockdog

February 23rd, 2011
8:49 am

I appreciate the heads up from the lovely Ms. Brett. I will avoid this film at all cost. Thanks

Greg

February 23rd, 2011
8:50 am

“cultural insensitivity”

that will get me to buy a ticket.

Justin Beaver

February 23rd, 2011
8:51 am

She probably didn’t like “The Hangover” either!!!!

LargeLeon

February 23rd, 2011
8:53 am

Wow, with a review like that, I have to see it. If you hate it, I’m going to love it

Fin

February 23rd, 2011
8:53 am

Thin plot, poor character development, toilet humor, cultural insensitivity, general raunchiness……..Hey lady last I checked this was a comedy, not a Wess Anderson film. I’m not sure what your ideal take is on humor, but given your high horse review it’s probably not very funny. I’m 29 so I’ll give you an example of something funny that you can relate too, remember All in the Family. That was the number one show on TV back when you were younger and guess what, the show was funny because it had toilet humor, cultural insensitivity, and general raunchiness. Now I haven’t seen this movie but given the Farrelly product I have a good sense of what I’ll be getting into. I’m sure it’s not going to wow you, but it’s good for a few laughs, which is what a comedy is intended for……..FIN

Rob

February 23rd, 2011
8:57 am

And this, ladies and gents, is a prime example on why the AJC doesn’t review movies any more.

Jennifer Brett

February 23rd, 2011
8:57 am

Drew,

Thanks for pointing that out. It did seem like a pretty convenient name though!

Also, I really hate to sound so negative about a movie filmed here and which provided jobs for local crews, revenue for the hotels and restaurants the cast and crew patronized, etc.

Jennifer

elroy

February 23rd, 2011
8:58 am

if a critic trashes a movie then most likely the general public will enjoy the movie.

Jim Tavegia

February 23rd, 2011
8:58 am

How can movie goers not be offended by most of what Hollywood is offering these days. They must think that most movie goers are total dunces. Most of what is coming is just “brain dead”! Does nearly everything have to be Beavis and Butthead?

John

February 23rd, 2011
9:00 am

Jennifer sounds like she’s a litle bitter here. How old is she anyway? 60. It’s not meant for a Oscar performance Jennifer. It’s a cheesy humor movie that happens to portray women as sex symblos in some way and that obviously doesn’t sit well with you. It maynot be a movie for everyone but take a chill pill. I think if you take your bias out of it, your review will make you sound less bitter and a woman with no sense of humor.

jc

February 23rd, 2011
9:02 am

sounds like sour grapes from jennifer brett regarding alyssa milano. if it offends your sensitivities, then it’s probably worth the price of admission. i just wished i hadn’t wasted my time reading this article. much like that “guy,” rodney ho, i’ll be avoiding future articles from you.

dawgjammin

February 23rd, 2011
9:11 am

I predict a huge opening weekend. Mass audiences will find it funny. People don’t go to a movie to have a 2 hour escape from the stress of every day life. Since when has a “Thin plot, poor character development, toilet humor, cultural insensitivity, general raunchiness” made for a bad comedy. Hangover? Stepbrothers? Old School? Half Baked? East Bound and Down? etc?. Thats actually a very popular equation for big profits. If you can’t appreciate a movie for what it is, then stick to reviewing the King’s Speech and Black Swan. Some people want a movie that delivers exactly what they want toilet humor or glorified violence. Expecting Hallpass to be anything less would be like seeing a Jason Statham movie and not expecting to see something blow up, get punched in the face all along a predictable plot line.

Hey wait a minute...

February 23rd, 2011
9:16 am

Tell me what you thought of Wedding Crashers…

Mike

February 23rd, 2011
9:18 am

If only this movie was called “Tyler Perry’s Hall Pass” we might have to hear how great it is and have it shoved down our collective throats.

Justin Beaver

February 23rd, 2011
9:19 am

Does everyone like my new haircut? Jennifer, what did you think about my movie?

Mike

February 23rd, 2011
9:21 am

For a dumb comedy, Wedding Crashers was horrible.

Gretchen

February 23rd, 2011
9:24 am

Dumb rednecks will see this movie in droves and live vicariously through the characters.

Jennifer Brett

February 23rd, 2011
9:24 am

Dawgjammin,

You make very good points. “Old School” is my husband’s second-favorite movie, after “Casablanca.” Seriously. It’s funny and irreverent but also clever and endearing. “Hall Pass,” on the other hand, offers not one but two scenes where characters relieve themselves, in one case rather explosively, on camera.

Jennifer

Justin Beaver

February 23rd, 2011
9:25 am

Doesn’t anyone care about me????

Bacchus

February 23rd, 2011
9:29 am

I don’t think Dumb and Dumber got favorable reviews either, but that movie has more than paid for itself on TV re-runs. I wouldn’t pay $10 for Hall Pass though. I know what the inside of my local Taco Mac and Applebee’s look like.

Roger Ebert

February 23rd, 2011
9:29 am

Jennifer, you really do come across as a bitter old woman. Oh no, a woman with big (fake) breasts has an appearance? That never happens in any movie from Hollywood, does it? Come on… Crude humor and man-jokes disqualify? Did you see Hangover, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Dinner for Shmucks, or about 50% of the other movies out in the last few years? Jennifer, go get a date, and you will feel better.

Amrit B

February 23rd, 2011
9:29 am

Saw this last night. Was raunchy humor but HILARIOUS. Don’t get me wrong there are scenes that make you cringe, but you will be on the floor laughing the entire time. Perhaps it’s targetted at my young-20s demographic, but it reminded me of another Owen Wilson movie about chasing females with Vince Vaughn…(dare i say it)

Holly Weird

February 23rd, 2011
9:30 am

Wow Jennifer, your accurate pan and the movie itself almost guarantees the film’s success amongst the mouth breathing 12 to 18 year olds. After all, I doubt the Farrelly brothers had sensible, discerning adults in mind when they put this trash together.

The really sad part is that those who watch it and like it will leave thinking this is the way people are supposed to live.

Roger Ebert

February 23rd, 2011
9:31 am

Wait, Jennifer, I just read what your husband thinks of Old School. I feel better now. I like deep movies, but Old School, Wedding Crashers and Sarah Marshall were well-done, light-hearted and in-poor-taste fun.

TO Jennifer Brett

February 23rd, 2011
9:31 am

This movie is for DUDES. NOT YOU. Dont rip it. Go watch Eat love pray and tells us how awesome it is.

Jennifer Brett

February 23rd, 2011
9:33 am

Roger Ebert,

I agree with you. (Frank! The! Tank!)

Jennifer

Justin Beaver

February 23rd, 2011
9:35 am

Is it a tshirt that you have slept in?

oops is that “toilet humor, cultural insensitivity, general raunchiness” ???

yes, i would like your tshirt, please don’t wash it before you send it

rerew

February 23rd, 2011
9:35 am

i cant help but thing that she would have given this movie a bad review because she’s a woman, and who know’s her past. if she’s been cheated on of course she would hate a movie making light of it.

Love Dolly

February 23rd, 2011
9:36 am

It’s a comedy, Jennifer. Lighten up…

RE REREW

February 23rd, 2011
9:36 am

I agree with you. What is a 40 something lady reviewing a movie set for young people? Love that AJC!

Gary

February 23rd, 2011
9:37 am

The unending commercials for the movie on every channel at every break was my first clue that this movie must be horrible. Since word of mouth won’t keep the movie going for more than a week, better get as many butts in the seats as possible the first week.

Doodles McFadden

February 23rd, 2011
9:40 am

With Larry Joe Campbell in the cast, the movie is an Oscar winner!!!!

Samantha

February 23rd, 2011
9:42 am

Amen!dawgjammin!

Katie

February 23rd, 2011
9:43 am

This is what Hollywood loves to produce. The self congratulating, self aggrandizing, culture of ‘me first’, I’m rich so it doesn’t matter, celebrity culture that destroys America and then tells you how to vote because they are so knowledgeable. Awesome!

Mike

February 23rd, 2011
9:47 am

Is this movie at least rated R? If I’m going to watch a crude, sophomoric, potty humor comedy, I don’t want it watered down with the PG-13 tag.

Netflix for the win either way.

Jennifer Brett

February 23rd, 2011
9:52 am

Mike,

It is rated R.

Jennifer

dan

February 23rd, 2011
9:56 am

I appreciate the review and will avoid the movie at all costs. Hall Pass has all the makings of another “Couples Retreat” which was an absolute turd. What happened to clever humor? What happened to movies like “Swingers” that really capture the essence of dating and relationships? Is Hollywood this mentally lazy?

Russ

February 23rd, 2011
9:58 am

Guys, lighten up on Jennifer. She’s married to one of us, so she definitely knows the drill. Her opinion is just as valid as ours (P.S. -please mail t-shirt to . . .)

Astrid G.

February 23rd, 2011
9:59 am

Jennifer Brett is not a film critic, which you can tell by her not respecting the release date. I saw the movie myself last night, I while I agree it’s a “dude movie” I laughed heartily, along with the audience.

Stan56

February 23rd, 2011
10:06 am

I saw a preview of this movie last night and it was hilarious. Not as funny as “The Hangover”- but still very funny. I think the review here is a bit jaded. Maybe because it wasn’t a Tyler Perry film?

sleeze

February 23rd, 2011
10:13 am

Let’s face it.. If a critic doesn’t like it, you should go see it. That’s the only worth a movie critic has..

Name (required)

February 23rd, 2011
10:14 am

Looks like SOMEBODY’S husband wants a hall pass and is taking out her anger on an innocent movie.

Derrick

February 23rd, 2011
10:16 am

If a chick writes a review like this, I’m definitely going to see the movie. It’s supposed to offend women to be a great guy movie and it seems to have done a nice job of it! She says it’s predictable? How predictable.

LCDawg

February 23rd, 2011
10:29 am

I have a friend in the business and this movie tested out much higher than any previous Farrelly Bros movie including “There’s Something About Mary. ” I’m sure Jennifer has some solid points but I’m also confident she is NOT the target demographic for this film!