The Hangover

First Hit: A very funny film in spite of the subject.

There is nothing funny about a hangover. It has been many, many years since I’ve had one and don’t ever anticipate having one again; especially like the one portrayed in this very funny film.

The film begins with a wedding location being set up outside the bride’s home. The bride, Tracy Garner, (played by Sasha Barrese) is fretting and worried because she has not heard from her groom Doug Billings (played by Justin Bartha) in two days. Tracy receives a phone call from her groom’s best friend Phil Wenneck (played by Bradley Cooper), who has a cut lip, is unshaven and looks like he’s been up all night. She asks him where Doug is and his confessional response is “we’ve lost him”.

The film then reels back in time to two days before the wedding and the four guys take off for two days in Las Vegas for a bachelor party. The bride’s brother Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is a bit touched and Doug’s dentist friend Stu Price (played by Ed Helms) makes up the gang of four.

Alan buys some Rohypnol (Roofies aka date rape drug) thinking he’s buying Ecstasy and he, unknowingly to the others, spikes their initial toast with it. The next scene is their trashed out Las Vegas hotel room, complete with a live tiger in the bathroom, Stu has a tooth missing, no one can remember anything, and they can’t find the groom.

The middle part of the film is spent trying to find out what happened and locating Doug. Eventually they find Doug, get him back for wedding (sunburned and haggard) but none of them really knows what happened during the fateful night.

As the wedding reception winds down, Alan finds their camera which was in the car they had in Vegas. They smile look at each other, and they make a pack to look at the pictures once, together, and then destroy the evidence.

The film was clever in that only until the end did you get an idea of what actually happened that fateful night, and only in still pictures which allows the audience to continue to imagine and speculate. The direction from that aspect was very good. The acting was good and I thought Galifianakis, playing a troubled brother of the bride, was the best acted character. Heather Graham playing Jade, an exotic dancer, who befriended Stu was sweet.

Overall: This was not a great film and it was a very funny film which stayed with me after I left the theater. I was surprised at how often I laughed out loud as did the audience I was sitting with. It also created a level of suspense, of what happened in Las Vegas, which continued until the very end and even today, 4 days later.