February 27, 2011|Having conducted my usual round of research (re-watching the movies, poring over the DVD commentaries and other making-of material), the Farrelly brothers were pretty much how I expected them to be when I interviewed them at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston: older brother Peter is very talkative and up for an impromptu debate, while Bobby is content to hang back and drop the occasional pearl of wisdom into the conversation. Of course, research only prepares you for so much. Their career-defining gross-out sight gags have never been my cup of tea, but just about every one of their films (including their latest, Hall Pass) is driven by an unmistakable--perhaps surprising--humanity. Still, it wasn't until our discussion heated up that I truly began to appreciate the source of that humanity. The Farrellys seemed a little surprised that anyone would bring it up, but their innate kindness shined through as we talked about their approach to making movies. (I feel somewhat privileged, actually, to have witnessed it firsthand.) It's obvious that they've spent their joint career striving to promote an egalitarianism in Hollywood--not just with their all-inclusive casting decisions, but also with their embrace of the test-screening process as a barometer of artistic success.