As I've said before, it's been a pretty dull few years on the quality comedy front. But, thankfully, that's all changed this year – 2009 kicked off with two hilarious Hollywood romps, Role Models and Sex Drive, and then kicked it up a notch with the brilliant British polical comedy In The Loop. Now we have what's probably the funniest comedy to come out of Hollywood in close to a decade, The Hangover – and with nary a big name in sight.
The buzz has been building around The Hangover for some time now, and it's well deserved. The plot follows a well trodden path – a bunch of guys head to Las Vegas for a bucks' weekend – but it brings a surprising freshness, and plenty of twists. Doug (Bartha) is about to marry Tracy (Barresse). So, for his last weekend of freedom, he and three buddies – Phil (Cooper), Stu (Helms) and Alan (Galifianakis) – take a road trip to Vegas for a night of debauchery. Unfortunately, when they wake up the next morning, Doug is missing, the hotel suite has been trashed, there's a tiger in the bathroom and a baby in the closet. And none of them has any recollection of the night before.
That's really all you need to know before you see The Hangover. Just sit back and let it all unfold, and enjoy the constant stream of laughs that comes your way. It's a brilliantly sharp script from Lucas and Moore, neither of whom has really written anything of note until now – just a few ordinary romantic comedies. Director Phillips has a slightly sharper pedigree, with a CV that includes Road Trip, Starsky & Hutch and Old School. All three of them can now pretty much name their own price. So too can the largely unknown cast – Bartha, Cooper and Helms turn in excellent performances, but the chunky, bearded Galifianakis comes close to stealing the film.
The simplest way to describe The Hangover is as an adult version of Dude, Where's My Car. But this time, actually funny. With real jokes. And proper actors. Do youself a favour, and go see it.