Directed by: Bobby Huntley
Written by: ShaRhonda ‘Roni’ Brown, Todd Tucker
Starring: Drew Sidora, Robert Christopher Riley, Erica Peeples, Kandi Burruss
Synopsis (IMDb): A married couple gives each other one night off from fidelity – a “hall pass” and their lives are quickly turned upside down as the one night of pleasure becomes a tool of deception.
This review is going to be short, first of all.
Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker’s The Pass is…a movie. I would stop there, but you deserve a bit more context.
The film (hitherto known as just The Pass), is one that capitalizes on the rumors and gossip surrounding Burruss, the film’s producer, and Burruss’ fellow Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Drew Sidora, who stars in the film as Nina. People gossip about if Burruss has an open relationship with her husband/business partner/co-producer Tucker? The film focuses on open relationships. People gossip about Drew and soon-to-be-ex-husband Ralph Pittman’s relationship? Nina’s husband Maurice (Robert Christopher Riley) looks a lot like Pittman and acts as shady as Pittman does in the reality show. (Similarly, Sidora acts about as dizzy as she does on the reality show as Nina, such as not reading the signs when things are clearly wrong.) People gossip about Burruss being bisexual? Nina and Maurice’s mutual friend Terra (Erica Peeples) is openly bisexual with a clear preference for women. Nina also finds out she’s bisexual as well.
That is a mild spoiler, but I’ll save the rest for if you watch the film, since there is more to the story than meets the eye. But the twists and turns–especially the biggest twist at the end, doesn’t make sense. While I don’t mind escalating tension, everything has to make sense in the end. But as we ratchet up the drama toward the ending, Nina’s decisions don’t make much sense. In fact, a lot of her decisions become frustrating since she begins doing the very things she’s skeptical of Maurice doing. Ultimately, there’s not much to the film overall, which is frustrating. But it’s also something you might have expected from a film of this caliber. While Burruss is right in saying in an interview how the film shows you can make a lower budget film look high quality, The Pass doesn’t bring the same attention to detail with the storyline and that’s a shame.
It might sound crass to say, but the only draw to the film outside of the gossip is the woman-on-woman action. It’s still a shame that this same-sex female intercourse is meant purely for titillation, but in a film with not a lot going for it, I’ll take the titillation.
If anything, The Pass, which is available for streaming on Peacock, has cemented for me that for many couples, an open relationship is a bad idea. “Hall passes” fix nothing in relationships–they only cause more problems. I already knew open relationships were never for me. Maybe one of the silver linings of this film is that maybe it might convince some folks out there that they don’t have the constitution to deal with open relationships either. But aside from that, The Pass just feels like Atlanta hustle culture in general–full of pomp and circumstance and flash, but hollow and empty at its core.