The Hangover (2009) – Review

Three friends suffer the morning after from hell in this comedy...

The Hangover greatly benefits from its amazing screenplay written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore who are the pair behind many other comedies. Their words are bought to life by Todd Phillips and the same directing and producing talent behind comedies such as Old School, Road Trip and Due Date and tells the a strange tale of a bachelor party gone too far.

The Hangover joins the characters of Phil, Stu and Alan as they try to recall what happened to their friend Doug on a 24 hour binge in Las Vegas for his stag do. Phil (Bradley Cooper) is the film’s cool character – school teacher by day, he drives a police car on the pavement and manages to steel school trip money from pupils. Stu is straight-laced, tightly-wound, under-the-thumb character and would do anything for his girlfriend despite her screaming infidelities. Played by Ed Helms, the character breaks his mold by ending up marrying a prostitute played by the beautiful and funny Heather Graham. Zach Galifianicks plays the brilliantly strange Alan who has a growing infatuation with Phil.

The great blend of diverse lead characters gives this comedy a refreshing twist. Child-like Alan being ‘looked after’ by Phil and his trying to imitate him adds to the film’s enjoyment whilst watching Stu letting loose on the night out only to remember nothing of it allows for depth and character development.

The story itself is a fairly simple one; three friends retracing their steps to find their missing friend.. It is made all the more complex by tigers in bathrooms, angry former boxers and a naked Chinese gangster. It is the characters themselves that seem to drive the story forward. Everyone has been in that situation where they try to remember the night before and find it both entertaining and mortifying – this experience is exaggerated in the movie and becomes a hilarious story.

A brilliantly written script is given life by some sharp and comical acting that gives the film a balance between comedy and misfortune that sets it up for a win. The audience laughs at the characters’s misfortunes before they realise the extent to what has happened, but also feel a sense of empathy as they are likable and fun characters.

This movie will have you laughing from start to finish. Unlike a lot of comedies that go for the gross factor this went for the funny factor.

Best character: The weird and wonderful Alan without whom the story wouldn’t have happened.
Best line: ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, apart from herpes that shit will come back with you’.

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