Sunday, September 22, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 29
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
AD ASTRA
AFTER THE WEDDING
ANGEL HAS FALLEN
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BINGEABLE: A.P. BIO
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
CRAWL
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
DOWNTON ABBEY
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
IT: CHAPTER 2
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RAMBO: LAST BLOOD
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GOLDFINCH
THE KITCHEN
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY

GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF NETFLIX

GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER


Where is it playing?: Netflix

What's it rated?: R

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Yes, I do feel some guilt over how much I enjoy The Hangover, the 2009 comedy hit starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms. Why? Because at the end of the day, this is another frat-astic romp about a bachelor party in Vegas gone wrong. But the truth is, this is exactly what also makes The Hangover an enjoyable success story: screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore found a way to inject new life into a tired premise.

Two days before Doug Billings’ (Justin Martha) wedding, he and friends Phil (Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms), and eccentric brother-in-law Alan (Galifianakis), take the classic road trip to Las Vegas for his bachelor party. Doug’s the clean-cut, handsome one. Phil’s the charismatic and unhappily married bad boy. Stu is the nervous, pushover dentist. And Alan is that brother you married into who you tolerate but are embarrassed by.

The last we see of the group on their arrival night is them on the roof of Caesar’s Palace, making toasts and taking shots of Jagermeister. Flash forward to the next morning, and they’e waking up in a $4,200/night villa with a live tiger, a chicken, a baby, and a missing tooth of Stu’s. Oh, and Doug—the bachelor—is missing. Nobody can remember anything. The rest of the film is us watching Phil, Stu, and Alan navigate Vegas to try to piece together what the hell happened.

Everything enjoyable in The Hangover comes from the cast—which holds up as one of the best blends of actors in a comedy in recent memory. Galifianakis is shockingly hilarious as Alan, who’s a shameless, inappropriate, and socially unaware—but lovable—loner. It’s no surprise that this is what catapulted his career in Hollywood. He’s truly awesome and has seamless chemistry with Cooper and Helms, who deliver memorable performances in their own rights as friends on two sides of the same coin.

The Hangover was a huge commercial success. Of course, success comes with a dark side: sequels. The Hangover Part II (2011) and III (2013) were terrible movies. Pleasantly, for me, a rewatch had me forgetting those later blunders.

If Vegas bachelor party mayhem isn’t your thing (and I totally get it), you should skip The Hangover. It won’t change your mind on the genre. But if you enjoy Galifianakis and some crude comedy, be prepared for the some the best that niche can offer. (108 mins.) m

—Peter Johnson




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