Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham
A Las Vegas-set comedy centered around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, then must retrace their steps in order to find him.
Sometimes, a movie comes along that people go crazy over and I just don’t get it. Take The Hangover, typical comedic bromance that somehow managed to entrance the whole country and win a Golden Globe for best comedy or musical. It’s a decently amusing film, but having finally seen the picture in its entirety, I still can’t fathom why anyone would think it’s that good. Golden Globe material? AFI’s top ten movies of the year? Really?
The Hangover would have been better if it hadn’t felt like a rehashing of dozens of other comedies before it. Obviously it’s fair to draw inspiration from or pay homage to other works, but there was an overriding sense of cliche to this film that I couldn’t shake. There were a number of genuinely funny moments, but it never quite clicked for me the way I wanted it to. I went the entire film hoping to be drawn in just a little but more, but was instead held at arm’s length by rampant stereotypes and poor overall character development.
The three leads—Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis—all do their level best at providing memorable humor, and Galifianakis in particular does a great job with his socially inept, deadpan ridiculousness. I feel a bit silly admitting this, but I was quite disappointed that there wasn’t more of the infamous baby we’ve all seen so much of in the ads for the film. That kid added a whole other level of both approachability and humor, but was hardly in the thing. What a squandered opportunity.
I genuinely wanted this movie to be better than it was. Supposedly it was inspired by the filmmakers’ real life experiences, but there wasn’t any real heart to it. The “poignant” parts felt forced and hastily shoved in between the comedy, and overall it’s really just 100 minutes of three guys doing stupid shit.