Most of the time, mainstream comedies are these bland, safe, and simply unfunny movies just trying to make some money. They’re commercial products, just like a toilet brush or a toothbrush. And because there are so many of them, you just automatically think that the next one you see is exactly the same as all the previous ones. However, sometimes looks can be deceiving. The Hangover is above all an incredibly well-crafted raunchy comedy worth watching over and over again. I’m sure it’s going to become a classic in no time. Right from the opening sequence, it hits hard and hits home, as the crew is awoken to a devastated apartment.
This is a young man’s wet dream when it comes to having a good time. And not just his. And this is the reason why The Hangover resonated so well with so many people. It “proves” that “ordinary” people can party and be “cool”. Of course, this would all be for nothing, if the script and acting were bad. That was not the case here. Yes, you could say that this is the prime example of “toilet humor”, but what did you expect? This is a fun R-rated comedy, actually, this is the highest-grossing R-rated comedy in the U.S. to its release date. And yes, you can call The Hangover a “male movie”.
Because the script is so subversively intelligent, the movie at the same time makes fun of, explores, and elevates the very real feelings and desires of the male population just hitting their mid-life crisis. Keep that in mind while watching the movie. These are legitimate concerns. The feeling that life is passing you by and that you’re just droning away in a meaningless existence. One can remember a certain “burn this motherfucker down” moment in Harold and Kumar Go To Whitecastle. Although that’s job-related than a life-related moment.
Four best friends decide to travel to Las Vegas in order to have one hell of a bachelor party. Joined by the bride’s brother Alan, the crew set out for Las Vegas in a vintage Mercedes-Benz W111. They check into Ceasars Palace and start getting ready for the night of their lives. One hard cut later and it’s already morning. The crew is sleeping in a trashed suite with a number of strange items strewn all over the place. This is, however, the least of their problems because they don’t remember a single thing from last night…
The bachelor party sub-genre has been alive since the late fifties and the movie The Bachelor Party. Of course, Neal Israel redefined the genre with Bachelor Party from 1984 starring Tom Hanks and featuring some really funny scenes. I still remember two scenes from that movie: the hot dog scene and the limousine scene. Finally, we got a dark twist on the whole sub-genre with Peter Berg’s masterpiece Very Bad Things. So, The Hangover is definitely not an original movie, but it has a soul and as time passed by, it became one of those movies that you watched when you were younger and still thought that one day you will end up as our crew.
Another great thing about this movie is its pacing. It is fucking perfect, especially when you consider the story as a whole. It’s progressing with more and more ludicrous and hilarious situations, finally exploding in the final third. More importantly, during all this, characters are also going through a change, following the eternal movie formula. Sleek and tight, The Hangover is a razor-sharp party movie, perfect for those nights when you just want to have a good time. Even though I have seen it a dozen times by now, I still smile when I hear Danzig howling.
And if you’re looking for similar movies, check out the rest of Todd Phillips’s filmography. We’re talking about movies like Road Trip, Old School, and Starsky & Hutch. Finally, I want to add that I still, to this day, use the lines from this movie in everyday life.
Director: Todd Phillips
Writers: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham
Fun Facts: In the film, Mike Tyson owned a tiger, whereas in real life, he owned seven. Mike Tyson revealed that he appeared in the film to fund his drug habit, and that he was high on cocaine when he filmed his scenes. Tyson later said that working on the film convinced him to change his lifestyle.
IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1119646/