If you’re familiar with the phrase, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas?”, then this movie is right for you. Imagine that you are on the eve of getting married and your best friends treat you to a weekend in Sin City. You & your friends decided to get a suite at one of Vegas’s famous casinos. Then, you do a toast to celebrate your last night as a bachelor. Then the next morning, everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. The hotel room is trashed beyond recognization. You’re sleeping on the floor. One of your friends is missing a tooth. A baby is in the closet. Finally, you found a bengal tiger in your bathroom.
If you’ve seen the ubiquitous trailer and TV spots for The Hangover, you’ve seen several of the movie’s high spots – tiger in the bathroom; am I missing a tooth; is that a baby; Mike Tyson air-drumming to Phil Collins – but, and you can trust me on this, they comprise the tip of the iceberg that is one weird, twisted and even trippy comedy.
We’ve seen all these characters before – the nerdy dentist with the shrewish girlfriend; the inappropriate fat guy; the schoolteacher who’s about as mature as his students and yet happily married; the slightly uptight groom-to-be – but we’ve never seen them from quite this angle before.
The set up is so simple – three guys take a groom-to-be to Vegas for his bachelor party… a night to remember. Then, the three wake up with no memory of the previous night; their hotel suite… sorry, villa… is a shambles, and the groom is missing!
Beyond the clips in the trailer, anything I might want to use as an example of the high FQ [Funny Quotient!!!] of this film might spoil whole chains of events, so I’ll simply tell you that Todd Phillips, director of Old School, has found a terrific script [by John Lucas and Scott Moore] and done right by it.
Bradley Cooper [Phil, the schoolteacher], Ed Helms [Stu, the dentist] and Zack Galifinakis [Alan, the brother-in-law to be – and a bit of a savant] are in the best form of their respective careers. Somehow, they make these stereotypes both sympathetic and hysterically funny. Justin Bartha [Doug, the groom-to-be] is both a solid straight man/victim of circumstance and funny when the script demands it of him.
The extremely good supporting cast includes, among others, Jeffrey Tambor [the very knowing father-in-law-to-be], Sasha Baresse [Tracy, the bride-to-be], Rachel Harris [Melissa, the shrew], Heather Graham [Jade], and Ken Jeong [Mr. Chow]. The gags range from polite to “OMIGAWD!!! Did you see/hear that???” – and the set up is as funny as the rest of the movie. Stay for the credits – there is a montage that tells us exactly what happened in those hours that have, mercifully it turns out, been erased from the guys’ memories…
Final Grade: A
Eclipse Review by Sheldon Wiebe
Posted June 5, 2009
Two friends and one soon to be brother-in-law decide to take their pal out for his bachelor party in illustrious Las Vegas two days before the wedding. Upon waking up the morning after, the hotel suite they stayed in is trashed, a few unexpected houseguests appear, the groom is missing, and no one can remember a thing.
I’m very happy to see the return of the R-rated, smart comedies. I’ve enjoyed movies like Wedding Crashers, Role Models, Old School, etc., and for fans of those films, The Hangover will most likely one day find a spot in your collection right next to them.
Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: The Hangover Keeps The Buzz Going
Today isn’t the last day of spring – at least, not according to the calendar. For movies, though, it’s another story. I’m not exactly certain when May became “spring” for movies, but it’s a fairly recent development. What marks the season is the first in an onslaught of blockbuster, tentpole movies that all the major studios have scheduled to make the most of their favored demographic’s spring break/summer vacations.
Most movie writers/critics have already listed the films they especially want to see, or expect to do boffo box office – and last week, our own Michelle Alexandria went against the grain by listing the movies she was least desirous of screening. After much consideration, I’ve decided to split the difference and have compiled a list of the five films I am most looking forward to – and the five I most wish to avoid at all costs [not that I necessarily will – such is life for film writers…].