fighting for free hearts

Hall Pass: A Reader Responds

Leonard responds, taking some exception to my comments on Hall Pass:

I do agree with your stance on the subject of porn, but I am put off that you are using this movie out of context in order to make your point. It’s a comedy. An often used comedic device is to place the protagonists in an outrageously improbable position and see how it unfolds. No sane or rational wife would give her husband a “hall pass” and no sane or rational man would assume it, let alone take it. The audience isn’t meant to actually seriously think about this setup, they are meant to instantly recognize it as insane and enjoy the mess-ups that will happen. The choice of beating this comedy over the head for such a serious point makes me want to say “whatever” instead of reading further on.

Choose a movie like Indecent Proposal. That is a movie, though not Oscar material, that actually presents a similar situation seriously (though wrongly). It’s a much more appropriate conversation starter for this subject, IMHO.

I see your point, and to some extent i think your rebuttal is well made. On one hand you are correct that Hall Pass is a comedy and, as you say,

An often used comedic device is to place the protagonists in an outrageously improbable position and see how it unfolds. No sane or rational wife would give her husband a “hall pass” and no sane or rational man would assume it, let alone take it. The audience isn’t meant to actually seriously think about this setup, they are meant to instantly recognize it as insane and enjoy the mess-ups that will happen.

On one level i agree with you. The purpose of a comedy like this is to lampoon the very idea of a hall pass. And you are also correct that a movie such as Indecent Proposal actually has a serious and dark quality about it given its treatment of infidelity.

i regret that you thought i was using the movie out of context.

What i was aiming for in my post was not really a slam on the movie as much as it was a comment on the fact that men depicted in the film — though they are clearly outrageous — are actually more true to life than we often like to admit.

On one hand the comedy does its job and makes fun of these guys for being losers. On the other hand, i have met many men who live their lives every day as though they have a hall pass; they live a pornified lifestyle.

All good comedies rely on an element of truth, as we all know.

Men are pornified; they aren’t cheating on their wives physically, but they are cheating on them spiritually and emotionally. i know because i was one of those guys for many years.

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