Today! Because I didn’t know they gave out rings at the Holocaust –
The Hangover (2009)
Directed by Todd Phillips (x3)
Starring Bradley Cooper (x2), Ed Helms (x4), Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham (x3), Ken Jeong (x2), Mike Tyson, Rachael Harris (x2), Sasha Barrese, Jeffrey Tambor (x2), Mike Epps, Bryan Callen (x3), Rob Riggle, Cleo King (x2), Matt Walsh (x7), Jernard Burks
So again, as mentioned somewhere earlier, I’m not saying we got married at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas because of The Hangover – that’s completely insane – however, we never looked at their wedding facilities in person, booking thanks to YouTube videos of the gardens and whatnot. This was after we made a trip to Vegas expressly to check out venues. So either this should tell you how lackluster the matrimonial facilities are at the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, and the Bellagio (among others – we looked at a load of places), or that maybe we were more influenced by the epic search for Doug than we care to admit.
Also, because we were married only two years after this movie was released, everything in the film looks like it did when we were there. Oh, “cities don’t change all that much?” – I can hear you saying. Look at anything set in Vegas from twenty years ago. Hell, since this movie came out, the briefly featured Riviera has been demolished, and that’s where we stayed on the first exploratory trip (it probably was overdue for demolition, in all fairness). So The Hangover falls into my narrow personal category of films – virtual home movies. This includes Midnight in Paris (honeymooned!), everything set in Chicago from the last forty years, and anything ever filmed in Scranton – which is basically That Championship Season, Wanda, and that Gosling movie Blue Valentine. Are there other Scranton movies I’m forgetting? Besides home videos and the 2003 Nick Perfetto classic Paper, Plastic, or Love, in which I co-star?
Again, I’m not much for putting videos here, but let’s get this baby some more views, huh?
But regardless of all these personal connections unrelated to content, I love The Hangover, in spite of the pointless sequels and its immense popularity. There are comedies I enjoy more (see upcoming posts for details) but I do believe pound-for-pound this is the funniest movie from the last fifteen years. Sure, there are a handful of jokes that don’t work, and a few gags that just go a hair too far to really land, but there are so many great laughs that the flaws are easily overlooked. There’s the parade of terrific supporting roles – Bryan Callen’s fun-loving wedding chapel administrator, Matt Walsh’s acerbic doctor, Mike Tyson, Mike Epps’ Black Doug, Rob Riggle and Cleo King’s pissed off cops –
And then after all the escalating mayhem, all the twists and turns of figuring out who Carlos is (“Not at the table, Carlos!”), why that naked Asian man was in the trunk (“You tryin’ ta fuck on me?”), and what the story was with that mattress, after everything is resolved, they cap the film with the funniest end credits ever made. Look, I know, I got kinda burned out by The Hangover II and The Hangover III too (even though I don’t think they were quite as bad as everyone made out), but that first movie is still amazing.
Obviously the Oscars weren’t going to attempt rewarding the Wolfpack with anything, but the BAFTAs did put the movie up for Best Original Screenplay, while the Globes actually gave it Best Comedy or Musical! Way to go, Globes! The first film ended up the highest grossing of the group – $277 to $254 all the way down to $112 by the third, but worldwide this is a trilogy that raked in some $1.4 billion! For a comedy trilogy! This series had an Oscar-like effect on director Phillips – wherein a director takes a hiatus after awards success – in that he’s only released one film (as of this writing) since the third Hangover six years ago, and that was the pseudo-comic gun-running flick War Dogs. Shame! This is the third list film from this great comedy director – following #348 Road Trip and #225 Old School – so it makes me a little sad (Was his Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie anything? It’s nothing, right?).
Lots of advancing folks, given how represented modern comedies have been, with Heather Graham (#215 Bowfinger, #313 Fever Pitch) and Callen (#194 Bad Santa, Old School) heading to the Threes, and Ed Helms (#290 Cedar Rapids, #372 Walk Hard, #204 Semi-Pro) to the Fours, but it’s the great Matt Walsh leading the way, becoming the 11th Seven-Timer, after #322 Role Models, #377 I Love You, Man, Semi-Pro, Old School, Bad Santa, and Road Trip. Eleven 7s and Six 8s – still no Nine-Timers! Who will be the first to crack through??