Wednesday, January 27, 2010

dvd review: The Hangover

You might have noticed I'm rather enamored with the Golden Globes, even though I don't usually agree with their winners. After hearing people rave about The Hangover being THE FUNNIEST MOVIE EVER since last summer, I tried to go in with low expectations. It was the last film I saw in the Best Picture, Comedy or Musical category, and I already had my favorites (It's Complicated and Nine) and my least favorite, why in the world was this film nominated (500) Days of Summer, but I still didn't think The Hangover was a real contender for Best Picture. Obviously, I was wrong. It won.
The Hangover (Unrated Two-Disc Special Edition)
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.
Source: Netflix

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  1. We obviously have the same taste in movies! I saw this at the theater and expected to be rolling in the aisles the whole time. For me, it was just okay.

  2. I saw this one and liked it a great deal (surprised me), but it still fell into that "stupid humor" movie category or me. That is, movies that go out of their way to be outlandish and somewhat gross to be funny. The guy with the beard did crack me up, though. Loved his delivery.

  3. I can't believe that Better off Ted isn't more popular. I love that show. I'm worried that it'll only last as long as "Arrested Development" and everyone will wait to appreciate it when it's too late.


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