The Hangover

June 14, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Posted in movies | 1 Comment
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Alan Garner: You probably get this a lot. This isn’t the real Caesar’s Palace, is it?
Front Desk: What do you mean?
Alan Garner: Did, umm… did Caesar live here?
Front Desk: No.
Alan Garner: Yeah… I didn’t think so.

The Hangover
AMC Stony Brook – June 12, 2009

In honor of my return to New York for a momentous wedding of a dear friend to his lovely wife, I decided to continue the wedding theme by reviewing Hollywood’s latest comedy release, The Hangover.

The Hangover begins as most bachelor parties end… a tearful best man crying via cellphone to the bride-to-be that the boys have somehow lost the groom due to an evening of complete and utter debauchery in the city of sin, Las Vegas. Of course not speaking from experience, a woman like myself can only imagine what is amazingly possible at such male celebratory events. The groom to be, Doug (Justin Bartha) sets off for Vegas with his two best friends the_Hangover_2009Phil and Stu (played by Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms respectively) along with his bride’s eccentric brother (Zach Galifianakis) Embarking on the festivities with a shot of Jagermeister, we are off on a wild ride… Cut to the unbelievably trashed villa suite at Caesar’s Palace, plus one tiger and minus one groom. For the rest of the film, the boys try to retrace their steps a la “Dude, where’s my Car?” style, slowly revealing the events from the previous night.

Without spoilers, I can only say that this film is an absolute treat. Bookended with my close friend’s wedding, it succeeded in catapulting me into the proper mood for celebrating nuptials. Ultimately, what are bachelor parties all about anyway? Giving the groom the time of his life in the most incredible and extreme fashion before he ventures into his new life with the woman that he loves. It is a truth pact never to be broken amongst groomsmen, even from themselves. Topped with the cliched fact that “Whatever happens in Vegas” truly does not only stay in Vegas, but stays from all memory as well. No wonder every man I have spoken to regarding a bachelor party has said the same thing, “Suffice it to say, it was a great time.” That is also the best way to describe this film.

From the director that brought us Old School, School for Scoundrels and Road Trip, Todd Phillips proves to be the fine connoisseur of male shenanigans. As I have discussed before in reviews for Harold and Kumar and Pineapple Express, these movies do have a large target audience and for the most part deliver up to or exceed expectations. This is one of the latter category.  The Hangover is quite enjoyable all the way through to its satisfying conclusion. As far as production value goes, this film was very nicely executed from the locations to the cinematography. Normally I don’t notice or even care about the quality of these kind of films, but I found myself not only taking notice, but giving props where props were due.

The casting left an overwhelming sense of “Hey, I know that guy from somewhere but I can’t remember where?” (Thank goodness for IMDB on iPhones!) Nevertheless, admirable performances by all four gentleman, particularlyThe_Hangover_missingtooth Ed Helms who I’ve enjoyed regularly on NBC’s The Office. (As an actor, he “nails it” as his character Andy Bernard would say.) The above video features one of my favorite segments in the movie, Stu’s song about how royally screwed they are. However, I liken my enjoyment of his performance in the Hangover to that of Alec Baldwin in Lymelife… it was just nice to see him do something besides his hit NBC comedy for a minute. Unfortunately, the female characters seemed very underwritten and served more as peripheral cameos, including Heather Graham as the newlywed single mother stripper and Rachel Harris as the Stu’s ridiculously overbearing girlfriend. Both felt slightly superfluous and contrived. Not so much in their performances, but for their level of stardom? It was as if they had nothing better to do for a couple of days and felt like going along for the ride.

However, there is one major grievance about the film that serves more as a cautionary tale. It’s not really a spoiler as the trailer gives away this fact, but just in case: SPOILER ALERT–> According to the timeline of the film, the bachelor party takes place what must be the Friday before the wedding on Sunday. Okay, um… that’s cutting it kinda close to the ceremony, don’t ya think? Even factoring in recovery time and whatever wedding rehearsals are planned for the following day, the best man would need to be somewhat responsible for his timing of said event, as to not cause unnecessary drama and stress. But then again, this is a movie and what is more exciting than the last minute?? Furthermore, are we to believe that the bride would be “cool” with the groom and his posse extending their stay in Vegas, merely based on the hotel treating them well?? Shyeah right.

If you are jonesing for some fast and furious bachelor party fun, this is the flick for you. If you like this, Orgconfuz recommends seeking out the 1998 psychotic comedy VERY BAD THINGS, starring Christian Slater, Cameron Diaz, Jon Favreau, Jeremy Piven and Daniel Stern.

RATING: 4stars
Recommendation: Fun, fun, fun! See it in the theaters.

hangover

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1 Comment »

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  1. Yes. Totlly, Yes! This Movie was the funniest effin’ movie I’ve seen since SuperBad!

    FangoChris


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