Movie Report: The Hangover (2009)

Book coverI picked up this film on one of my more-recent (within three years, “recently” could mean) trips to the antique malls or something. As you know, gentle reader, I am picking up DVDs and VHS cassettes at a bit of an accelerated pace as I’ve come to recognize that they’ll soon be obsolete and absent in the wild, or more likely, expensive. As this film was atop the stereo and other cabinet by the entertainment center, I know that I picked it up recently (the ones in the stereo cabinet repurposed to my to-watch shelves in the early part of the century are old acquisitions). And at Nogglestead, we have a bit of a LIFO (last in, first out) policy on books and other media. Well, I do. Because when I acquire it, I am eager to watch it, but that eagerness fades as time passes (which is why we have entire sets of television series in the stereo cabinet). Just so you understand why I am watching this “new” film which I bought sometime in the past couple of years even though it’s only fourteen years old now.

At any rate, this 2009 film comes from what historians might consider the last gasp of cinematic comedy (except they won’t, as historians after the next dark age will not have DVD players or thousand-year-old streaming accounts). I mean, the film comes from the same vein of R-rated comedies as Horrible Bosses (2011), Ted (2012), or Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015, but the original was 2010). Crass films relying on a lot of drug/alcohol humor, but able to make fun of different stereotypes and whatnot in a way I’m not sure they can any more.

The whole premise of this film relies on a drink-and-drug-filled evening. The morning after a bachelor party, three friends awaken to find the groom-to-be is missing, and they have a baby in the closet and a lion in the bathroom. The film follows them as they work backwards to try to find the groom so they can get him to the wedding on time. In doing so, they find that one of them has married an escort/stripper and that they’ve stolen Mike Tyson’s pet lion–and Tyson and his bodyguard insist they return it somehow.

So it’s a bit like a drunken comic Memento in that they’re working their way through the night in reverse. It’s an interesting structure and pretty novel, so I enjoyed the film more than I did the others mentioned above–and all of them spawned quick sequels, which is better, I suppose, than waiting a decade or more to try to resuscitate old characters like Ron Burgundy or Derek Zoolander.

The film also stars Heather Graham, whom you know I rather like, gentle reader, as we were born in the same hospital a year apart. We looked at her when I watched License to Drive in 2021. So let’s look at Rachael Harris.

Rachael Harris plays the shrewish girlfriend of the dentist character in the film, and she has the hot librarian look down.

Harris has had a career guest starring in television shows and small parts in films (like this one). The only places I would have seen her are Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010) and Starsky and Hutch (2004) because I have not watched a lot of films from the 21st century nor television past the 1990s.

But with my suddenly accelerated purchase of DVDs, maybe I’ll catch up a little bit.

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