Roaming about with ‘Hall Pass’

Peter (left) and Bobby Farrelly were in Boston to promote their new movie. Peter (left) and Bobby Farrelly were in Boston to promote their new movie. (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / February 19, 2011

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Funny filmmakers Bobby and Peter Farrelly are back with “Hall Pass,’’ about a couple of suburban guys, played by Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis, whose wives, played by Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate, give them a week off from marriage. Initially, the script didn’t sit so well with the Farrellys’ own wives. “They said, ‘We hate the guys, we hate the girls, we hate the whole thing,’ ’’ Bobby told us yesterday. “They said if the guys get a hall pass, the girls should, too, and they were right.’’ Cowritten by original “Project Greenlight’’ winner Pete Jones, “Hall Pass’’ finds the Farrelly brothers in familiar terrain — meaning there’s a lot of adolescent humor, including an extended shot of male genitalia. “The (Motion Picture Association of America) says if it’s for titillation, it’s NC-17,’’ said Bobby, “but if it’s for humor, it’s R.’’ Oh, this is humor, all right. There also are a couple of conspicuous extras in the movie, including comedian/YouTube sensation Bo Burnham, Highland Capital Partners’ Bob Davis and his daughter Michelle, and former Sox outfielder Dwight Evans, who plays a Cape Cod League baseball coach. “Going back to Cam Neely in ‘Dumb & Dumber,’ we always like to put an athlete in,’’ said Bobby. Asked about the popularity of high-school humor these days, the Farrellys said they’re happy to have company. “We didn’t invent it. There was ‘Animal House,’ ’’ he said. “But we came along at a good time when no one was doing it. The guys doing it now — Judd Apatow, Todd Phillips, Sacha Baron Cohen — those guys are spectacular. It makes it hard because we can’t sneak up on people anymore. But I’d say comedy in the last five or seven years is as good as it’s been in my lifetime, and it’s because of those guys.’’ The Farrellys screened “Hall Pass’’ for a theater of enthusiastic fans Thursday, and then stopped into Petit Robert Central, where they ran into “Family Guy’’ creator Seth MacFarlane and his dad. MacFarlane’s in town to begin work on “Ted,’’ starring Mark Wahlberg.

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