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Some Guys Just Can’t Handle Vegas

The Hangover

In many ways, I wish I got to write last week’s review for Up. With that film, and Pixar’s pedigree, people knew exactly what they were getting into. Reviewing that would have basically been an exercise in reinforcing preconceived notions. But with The Hangover, I have the job of selling the film to you. Because this is a comedy that should not be missed.

Phil, Stu and Alan awake the morning after throwing their friend Doug’s bachelor party with a serious problem: no one can find Doug or remember what happened the night before. Their room is a glorious mess, with a tiger in the bathroom, a crying baby, a chicken and Stu missing a tooth. With precious little time until the wedding, the trio set out to find their friend by piecing together what clues they have about their epic night.

What’s great about this set up is that it keeps our heroes moving. They jump between wacky scenarios as they keep getting closer to finding Doug. There’s a lot going on and I can really appreciate that, especially, as John pointed out, when you compare it to a film like I Love You Man, which had almost no conflict to speak of. It’s quite surprising that the director of Old School and the writers of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past could make such a tight comedy.

But the biggest praise must go to stand up legend Zach Galifianakis. His character is the source of most of the comedy, with Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper playing much more realistic characters. Galifianakis’ Alan is way more out there, often making weird observations and asking bizarre questions, like if Caesar actually lived in Caesar’s Palice. This is his breakout roll, and I’m glad more people will get to be exposed to his wonderful sense of humor.

The Hangover clearly went for a hard R-rating. That’s the way great comedys are these days, I reacon. The language is foul and there’s plenty of nudity – more male than female. It’s just more funny to see a dude naked, I guess.

This is the funniest movie I have seen this year. It’s in contention to be 2009’s Superbad. Do yourself a favor and see it now, while you still can.

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