6.16.2009

"The Hangover"

# 126 on IMDB's Top 200. Reviewers on the website describe it as "truly, hilariously, funny" and "The tale of how three friends tries to find the lost groom before his wedding after their crazy night in Las Vegas. The movie gets funny from the Las Vegas part right till the end. There is hilarious stuff in every other scene. Not to be missed, one of the best comedy of 2009."

But ALL OF THIS IS A LIE. There are barely words that can describe my distaste for the people in that theater who laughed uproariously at the most disgusting and stupid things for over an hour and a half. In the film, Phil (played by a greasy Bradley Cooper) sets out to give his friend Doug the best bachelor party on the face of the planet by taking him to Las Vegas. We know from the first scene that the night has gone horribly wrong because Phil is calling Doug's fiance to fess up to something. The rest of the film takes place as one long flashback that skips the actual bachelor party bit in order to mimic the effects of a certain drug (a Forget-Me-Now if you will) which forces the characters to piece together the events that led up to Doug's disappearance. That's it. And in the end, the men are rewarded for their behaviors in a number of ways- I think I'll just go ahead and spoil it. Stu (Ed Helms) gets the courage to stand up to his controlling girlfriend, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) gains partial acceptance from Phil who after a night of debauchery funded by money stolen from his elementary school students gets to come home to a loving wife and son while Doug is forgiven at the altar for being sunburned and late to his wedding with absolutely no explanation. Everything about the wrap-up scene at the end smells of the horrors of Broland. It is okay to break up with your girlfriend if she doesn't want you to marry a stripper. It is okay to steal from kids to pay for gambling and strippers as long as you cover your own child's ears when a friend swears. The bachelor party is a man's due payment for putting up with marriage for the rest of his life. That logic is not once challenged throughout this film because every problem is solved through the ingenuity of the alpha male who has all the answers. They even win a total of over 160,000 dollars in the course of less than 48 hours! Perfect night, bros.

This, of course, just barely scratches the surface of what is wrong with the entire set up of this comedy. After Doug, Phil, Alan, and Stu take their first shot of Jager where one of the characters says, "this reminds me of college." I find it hard to believe that these guys ever left.

I'll just leave you with the memorable quotes page from IMDB:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1119646/quotes

6 comments:

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  2. That sounds like a hot mess. If I were wittier, I'd come up with a more apt, appropriately contemptuous retitling but I'll just say what my favorite gem was...


    Black Doug: I always wondered why they were called roofies. Cause you're more likely to end up on the floor than the roof. They should call em floories.
    Alan Garner: Or rapies.

    (This is such bad taste-- I won't even bother to elaborate on my disgust.)

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  3. I don't think that it should be required for others to enjoy vulgar jokes, but I definitely don't think that people should be able to say that a movie is bad because they make jokes that they are not able to appreciate. I'm not saying the movie was fantastic, but it was reasonably funny, and vulgar jokes should not be shunned but they should be appreciated. These jokes help illuminate our oversensitivies caused by the 'social construct.' I guess what I want to say is that a joke should still count as funny even if it is somewhat offensive. Once we drop the sex and fart jokes we take one step closer to comedy being comprised of a bunch of PhD's cracking jokes about the price of milk.
    Not only that but I think your analysis of Stu's actions are fairly inaccurate. He did breakup with a career woman for a stripper. But I think it is important to note that the stripper seemed to care about him and the previous girlfriend did not. I can understand if you have some problems with the stripping industry, but I'm not going to blame a single mother for her career choices.
    I think I'm talking too much, but comical elitism has always concerned me and I'm real bored. If I said anything that could have sounded offensive I expect that you know I'm not much good at online communication.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. It's not so much that I'm commenting on the vulgarity of the jokes. Vulgarity is good at times, but I hate sometimes reading comments on movie websites that aggrandize vulgarity as being truer than other actions.
    I'm more concerned with the more prevalent trend of omitting the real social responsibilities of male characters and with the flattening of female characters. The stripper only has worth because she cares for Stu even when he's drunk and pulling out his teeth. The women in this film are good only when they are forgiving their significant others.

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  6. And yes...comedy can be a wonderful tool for social commentary. I agree with you, but this comedy simply concluded that the man needs to roam without any sorts of ties or else he won't find true happiness. Not to mention the fact that he can only be accepted into the fold with the approval (no matter how tenuous) of the hyper-masculine, "cool" Bradley Cooper.

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