Director: Todd Philips
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham
Storyline: Three friends get wasted in Vegas and it’s Dude, Where’s My Car all over again. Here, they have also lost their best friend who’s getting married the next day.
Bottomline: The funniest film this year. Period.
Over the last few years, Hollywood has tasted quite a bit of success with this genre though it never perfected it. Until now.
Drunken revelry, Freudian irreverence, celebration of bachelorhood and the dream wishlist: Everything a guy ever wanted to do but never got to a chance to.
The Hangover is as perfect as it gets as far as Boys Night Out entertainment goes. Like chick flicks, the antithetic genre of Dick flicks plays out like every Tom, Dick and Harry’s fantasy.
So, what you have in The Hangover is loads of male bonding, politically incorrect jokes, situations and characters, sloshed and creating havoc in Vegas during one hell of a wild night they will never forget. Or remember.
When we say wild, we literally mean wild life – from tigers to strippers in their room to a barely year-old baby who becomes the youngest male ever seen onscreen doing something you’ve seen only in porno movies.
Though it seems to derive this inanely bizarre from the whacko Dude, Where’s My Car, this one seems funnier because unlike the Ashton Kutcher film that went all out as a science fiction spoof, The Hangover, is quite grounded with a reality… at least reality that can be aspired for.
You can steal Mike Tyson’s tiger, trash a five-star hotel, make a killing at the casinos, marry a stripper or jack a cop car you know… it’s not still as unrealistically fantasy-like as Dude, Where’s My Car where hot babe aliens are willing to give you erotic pleasure if you can hand them the “continuum transfunctioner.”
Still, why did ‘Dude, Where’s My Car’ get only a five on ten rating while this averages over 8.4 on ten around the world with both critics and audiences loving it despite it smacking of political incorrectness of every kind?
That’s probably because The Hangover goes deeper into the male psyche and Dude, Where’s my car was superficially flakey. Here, the tapes of what they do when they are totally wasted actually can be sent to their shrinks who can spend hours psycho-analysing the boys and be further deconstructed to understand fears, insecurities, dreams and aspirations of the Average Joe. Or Dick.
But the beauty of The Hangover is that director Todd Philips decides to pretend that of all that is purely incidental.
The focus of this film is on three drunk guys trying to piece together all that they did during a night they cannot remember and hence, the screenplay too has plenty of licence to run riot between the blanks.
We never get to see what they did, only the aftermath and a few fragments (now, stay till the very end if you want every thread tied up)
The actors are a prize catch and you can’t wait for the boys to return. (Yes, they will return for a sequel next year)
Ed Helms (Andy from The Office), finally you get a role you can sink your teeth into.
Bradley Cooper, welcome to the Men’s club – here, you get to atone for your sins during the time you spent doing silly chick flicks (he was last seen grabbing Scarlett Johansson in He’s Just Not That Into You).
Zach Galifianakis – you are a Dude, man. Pour me a drink, will you.
And Heather Graham, this film’s just one of those reasons the boys will always love you and cherish you for – the other two films being Austin Powers and Bowfinger. Keep doing that thing you do.
And the rest of you boys reading this, what the hell are you waiting for? Go hang with them now.