The Movie Waffler THE HANGOVER Review | The Movie Waffler


Winner of the Golden Globe for best film (comedy or musical category), The Hangover gave legitimacy to the comedy genre in the halls of ''quality cinema''. The audience success was not so surprising but still devastating: having cost around US$ 30 million, the film took in US$ 467 million at the box office worldwide, and in the United States, it became the most profitable ever R-rated comedy (prohibited for those under 17).

In the story, four friends go to Las Vegas to celebrate their bachelor party. Upon arrival, they settle in one of the best casino hotels and toast to the happy moment they find themselves. The excellent hotel in question is the Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas. 

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The Story of The Hangover

Coming back to the story, the next day, they wake up in a completely overturned room. One is naked. Another is missing a tooth, there is a (real) tiger in the bathroom, a chicken running around, and a baby locked in the closet. And to top it off, the groom has disappeared. None of the remaining three have the slightest idea what happened and how they came to be in that state.

The best thing that is quite clear from the beginning is that the audience is as lost as the protagonists. The characters don't know what happened, let alone us on this side of the big screen.

And so we all set off together, wondering what they did the night before and why surprises keep happening, like finding out that their car was swapped for a police car, finding a Japanese guy wearing nothing but his underwear in the trunk, wondering how one of the mattresses ended up on top of a statue, and they still have to settle issues with Mike Tyson himself.

That's the first factor that makes The Hangover irresistible. Like the characters, the viewer wants to know: What happened during the night?

The film's second great asset is that no joke opportunity is missed. Director Todd Phillips guarantees an error-free staging, the right timing, and the exact cut, and, on top of that, it retains some of the absurd humor of his previous films. And once again, a comedy celebrates and laments the childishness of the adult male American. 

Now, however, the movie is seen with an understanding smile and a motherly attitude, like that of the lovely prostitute (Heather Graham) who knows how to party and put the boys to sleep.

The Actors Made the Movie Shine

Another great success was the leading group of actors who, being so different, could not form a better combination. Bradley Cooper was a rising star, and after appearing as “the best friend” in films like Yes, Man (2008), he has now found acclaim. 

In addition to being handsome and attractive, he is a good comedic and dramatic actor, establishing himself as the heartthrob of the moment. Ed Helms and Justin Bartha offer the necessary support, as does the missing Heather Graham, who remains beautiful and funny in just the right amount.

But the real revelation is Zach Galifianakis, as the clueless brother-in-law who always has the best shots, stealing every scene in which he appears. Genuinely hilarious, it's practically impossible to control the laughter in the face of his lost gaze and the solutions he presents when they have to deal with the confusion accumulating in their way.

Directed by Todd Phillips, The Hangover is a typical male comedy with universal humor beyond the 'brotherly friendship' circle. There's so much going on, seemingly meaningless, but fortunately ending up connecting in the end, that it's impossible not to imagine yourself living in the same situation and going through similar predicaments. 

It's a simple and even clichéd formula with an inferior result - but it just works. Whether for the inspired dialogues, the convincing performances, or something inexplicable, this film deserves all the fanfare and impact it provokes. Fun from start to finish, and there are cases when nothing can be better than that.