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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hangover (The)

I will admit to drinking my own father under the table after 22 shots of vodka one night when I was a teenager (which says something about his parenting skills), but I can’t say I ever got so out of control that I have passed out and forgotten what I did the night before. There are plenty of times in my early twenties when I drank way too much and woke up wishing I’d forgotten what ~ or who ~ I did the night before, but I don’t believe in regrets. Regrets are only lessons we can learn from. In my case, I have a PhD from all I’ve learned. For example: Men are like tattoos. You may be able to get them off your back, but you’ll always be left with a scar or two.

Actually, I take that one part back. I do remember one time when I partied a wee bit too much and might have gotten so drunk I couldn’t drive myself home. I woke up the next morning, in my own bed, with
The Hangover of all time and no idea how I got there. I lived in a fabulous apartment directly across the street from a HUGE Roman Catholic Cathedral and a convent full of nuns who tormented all of us heathens in my building, dubbed “Vaseline Flats,” (for obvious reasons) by ringing these damned tower bells every Sunday morning at the god-awful hour of 10:00 a.m.

After several minutes of cursing the heavens, the old ladies and their bells, alcohol, my lack of ability to say “no,” and the failure of aspirin to work effectively, I crawled out of bed, showered, pulled myself together, and decided to go out to get some fresh air.

When I got downstairs to the street, I took a few deep breaths and then realized my car was not in its usual parking spot. Okay. Slight worry… then panic as I scoured a six block radius and found nothing. Well, I did see a few newer model cars I wouldn’t have minded stealing myself, but I wasn’t willing to do the time. Uh-uh. I was far too pretty for prison. So I had no idea what to do or where my car could be. I tried my best to remember where I last drove it. No. Idea. Whatsoever. The last thing I recalled from the day before was going to a pet store on the far side of town. So I took a bus over to the pet store (three transfers and an hour and a half later) in the hope of finding my car in the lot there or on the street nearby. Nothing. I walked that neighborhood like a hooker for hours and even inquired at the pet shop, but no one there recalled any vehicle being towed the day before, so I must have driven it away, but why didn’t I remember where?

I went home and reluctantly called the police to ask if it might have been picked up and towed somewhere. When they asked why I was reporting it missing I was at a loss to say it was because I was drunk on my ass since I didn’t recall drinking anything, so I told the officer it must have been stolen.

Three weeks later the police found my car in the next town over from where I lived, abandoned but
unharmed. The keys were inside and the doors were locked. How it got there will forever remain a mystery, and who drove it there, or took me home is kind of creepy in retrospect. Did somebody slip me some Rohypnol (a “roofie”) after I left the pet store? It never occurred to me that might have even been a possibility until I saw The Hangover this week at the Essex Cinemas.

The Hangover, that’s exactly what happens to Phil (Bradley Cooper; He’s Just Not That Into You), Stu (Ed Helms; tv’s “The Office”), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis; Gigantic) on a trip to Las Vegas with their best pal Doug (Justin Bartha; National Treasure: Book of Secrets) to celebrate his Bachelor Party. They arrive at Caesar’s Palace ready for a night of low-key whoopee, with some drinking and gambling, but not too much fun since Stu is in a cuckolded relationship with a shrew who would kill him if he did anything else, and Alan is the brother of the bride and is keeping an eye on the groom, who has also been given instructions from Alan’s father to keep an eye on Alan since he is a bit “retarded” as Phil is quick to remind both Alan and Doug. Hey, his word, not mine. Don't shoot the messenger.

Cut to the next morning, and that’s when the movie REALLY begins. The boys’ suite at the hotel is trashed; inexplicably there is a chicken running wild around the bar area, a smoldering chair is n the living room, a tiger’s in the bathroom, and a baby’s in the closet. Oh, and Doug is missing in action.

What follows is a very, very funny comedic mystery as Phil, Stu, and Alan begin putting the pieces together literally minute by minute in reverse to figure out what became of the groom they are supposed to get back to L.A. for his wedding before the day is out. They also need to figure out who the baby and the tiger belong to and find a way to get the tiger out of the bathroom, preferably before the housekeeping staff comes in.

Every move they make seems to only complicate things and cloud how the three guys’ carousing
the night before could possibly lead them to anything that makes sense. There’s chaos involving the Asian Mafia, led by Ken Jeong (Pineapple Express) as Mr. Chow, the gayest and most spectacularly silly villain ever, an unaccounted for stolen police car, a surprise wedding to a hooker (Heather Graham; Miss Conception), a missing tooth, an unexplained visit to a local hospital, some midnight trespassing on Mike Tyson’s property, winning (and losing) a fortune in the casino, and half-a-dozen other random acts of insanity that are all guaranteed to make you laugh.

Writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who co-authored the somewhat limp Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, penned this chuckle-fest with what seems like a lot more confidence than their last release. Whether The Hangover might include remnants of real life adventures the duo may have experienced is anybody’s guess (let’s hope not!), but this is what I would definitely classify as a “Testicle Flick”. You know, sort of the opposite of a “Chick Flick.” It is obviously made by men for men, stuffed to the brim with sexist, dumb-ass, male-brain jokes. It doesn’t mean women won’t enjoy
The Hangover. They just have to remember to use very small words when they tell their dates later how much they liked it.

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