Monday, June 22, 2009

The Hangover

After weeks and weeks of complaining about the terrible weather and how cold it’s been for June and how that has sucked, it was finally hot and June-like this weekend. And how did I handle this shift to summer? Why, by hiding in a movie theatre where the heat and humidity couldn’t get to me.

I saw two movies this weekend, The Hangover and Away We Go. Since I need to draw these out so that I have something to blog about the rest of the week, I’ll only be talking about the one here. You can check out my blog about the other sometime later this week at my other blog, Clever Title.

Today let’s talk The Hangover.

I had heard a lot of raving about this movie prior to seeing it, which normally means that the damn thing is hyped and that I’m going to be disappointed when I get around to seeing it. So, to break up the hype a little bit, I will say that the movie is not the most brilliant thing you’ll ever see. It’s very funny, buy it’s not the funniest thing ever made, so don’t go to the movie expecting to have your mind blown.

That said it was definitely worth seeing.

Basically (brief plot summary goes here) the movie is about a group of guys that go to Vegas for a bachelor party, have a crazy night, and then in the morning wake up and the groomsmen can’t find the groom. They spend the rest of the night trying to remember what the hell happened in an effort to locate the groom and get him back in time for the wedding.

The story is structured around an interesting mechanism, which is that we never get to see the actual bachelor party. One scene, they are heading out to party. The next, we are waking up with them the next morning in their supremely trashed suite. As a result, the audience gets to sort of experience the confusion of the groomsmen as they retrace their night in an effort to remember what the hell happened. It’s like Memento, except funny.

One thing I noticed from a writing standpoint was the amount of sign posting they did throughout the movie. It seemed like a crazy thing would happen, then the guys would remind us that they can’t remember anything that happened the night before and then, one they managed to get out of the crazy thing, Bradley Cooper would tell everyone to calm down and then they would rededicate themselves to the overall goal, which was finding the groom. I think that was necessary just to keep the movie focused, but I wonder if that was blatantly noticeable to anyone else.

There were some good character performances from the groomsmen (Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis) and the various other small parts they encountered along the way (even from Mike Tyson, who very clearly can’t act but it’s okay because he’s Mike Tyson and he will punch you), and Bradley Cooper did a good job of being the straight man and keeping everything grounded. I think that and the fact it’s a structurally interesting piece of writing makes it worth the ticket price.

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