The Hangover

Seriously, folks? I mean, I really should know better than to believe when people say that a movie is “the funniest thing in years,” and that it’s “easily one of the best movies of 2009.” Then, when you rent a copy from your local convenience store, figuring that you’ve given the hype enough time to die down, you realize that those people were either maliciously misleading you so that you’ll waste the $0.99 plus tax, or they’re just plain wrong.

I’m a little worried that I’m getting off on the wrong foot here, and that I’m trashing the movie more than it deserved. I would like to make it clear that The Hangover itself isn’t terrible by any means, it just hasn’t done anything to deserve the praise and word-of-mouth hype that it did.

For the three of you who haven’t seen it, the story follow three guys, played by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zack Galifianakis, as they search for their groom friend after an ill-fated bachelor party gone-wrong in Las Vegas. They wake up in their bitchin’ suite, surrounded by chaos, wildlife, and booze-soaked hangover clouds.

Before the party even begins, the characters’ “personalities” (read stereotypes) are introduced: Cooper plays a guy who’s too cool for his day job and wants his friends to think he’s too cool for his family too; Helms is using the party as a reason to get away from his over-bearing but not so monogamous girlfriend; and Galifianakis is like a cross between Jack Black and Raymond Babbitt. Whether he’s counting cards or saying really stupid stuff, Galifianakis is the alleged break-out star of the film, and I suppose that of the few funny parts, he is responsible for a fair share.

Then there are the supporting characters, like the baby, who’s presence is funnier than any actual scene. And there’s the tiger, who is, again, funnier in principle than in action. Really, that’s the general problem with the movie. It feels like it was written by some people sitting around saying “wouldn’t it be funny if…?” and putting it all into the script. Sure, finding a tiger in your bathroom could be funny, but things like not noticing the wildcat and then peeing on the floor are disappointing follow-up.

So, prepare for chuckles, not guffaws, and to prefer the silliness of the film’s situations rather than its jokes. Pretend that you wrote the movie, and that it’s all one big inside joke and you’ll be able to enjoy it more than I did.

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