The Hangover, of course, is a film about a bachelor party gone horribly, horribly wrong. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis wake up in Vegas with a tiger in the bathroom, a baby, a missing tooth, and a missing groom. The three set off to figure out what the hell happened last night.
Overall, it's an okay movie. For me, the humor was more abstract than actually laugh-out-loud funny. The premise was amusing, but I didn't laugh very much during the actual film. I enjoyed the experience of watching it because it functions mostly as a mystery. I can't imagine it would hold up to multiple viewings, however. For me, a large part of it not being a film I want to re-watch is that none of the characters are likable. The audience is invited to laugh at the expense of these men, who have enough depth to pass for real people, but who are not people one wants to root for. As such, it's a simple humor rather a nuanced, character and situation based humor (like in It's Complicated). My favorite Bradley Cooper role is still as Anthony Bourdain on Kitchen Confidential, the under-appreciated tv show that is still one of my all-time favorites. (Seriously, if you've ever worked in a restaurant or if you have a passing interest in food, you should watch this short-lived show.)
This film is obviously very, very popular, but I rarely agree with mainstream America on humor. Two and a Half Men is perhaps the least funny show ever, yet 18 million people watch and love it each week. The shows I watch, 30 Rock, Community, Modern Family, and Better Off Ted have smaller followings and a less mainstream (and perhaps approachable) humor.
The Hangover isn't a bad movie; it was entertaining to watch. It has no place in a Best Picture contest, however. Once again, the Hollywood Foreign Press and I disagree. Out of the five nominees, this film beat only one film, (500) Days of Summer, on my ballot.
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
Running time: 100 minutes
Release date: it's out on dvd now.
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