Comedy is a genre with wide-swinging extremes.  Certain films obviously cater to different camps.  My particular style of comedy lies within the witty and satirical, but I can appreciate my share of potty humor.  Somehow I’ve never outgrown that.

This movie reminds me of when I first heard the boyhood stories from Lake Wobegon on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion.  My two best friends insisted it was funny and when I listened, I had the same reaction that Homer Simpson had, to strike my radio and demand that it “be more funny.”

The Hangover is the evil twin brother of A Prairie Home Companion. But instead of fond stories surrounded by nice Minnesotans, The Hangover was raised in the Animal House (considered by Bravo to be the number 1 comedy of all-time) and fed mind-numbing drugs.


Doug (Justin Bartha), the groom-to-be, and his friends; Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) drive to Las Vegas for his bachelor party.  Their rooftop toast is drugged and they spend the movie trying to piece together the ludicrous and idiotic shenanigans that transpired that night.  In their search for answers, they discover a bengal tiger in their bathroom, a stripper’s baby in their closet, and find that Doug is missing (to name just a few).

This movie completely turned me on my head, but not because it was funny.   Roger Ebert (Ebert & Roeper), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone Magazine), my sister and a handful of friends thought it was a riot of laughs and thus, it leaves me feeling like I’ve been served a joke that  I’m too “square” to understand.  However, since I laughed in this film as much as I laughed in Schindler’s List, [zilch] I feel compelled to uphold my integrity as an honest reviewer and give this film the worst rating (1 bear claw) in the history of The Joyce Review.  I’m sure there will be more (horrible reviews), but nothing quite so surprising [since The Hangover just won the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Comedy]!

After this trashing, I can foresee hoards of movie-goers, respected readers of The Joyce Review, suddenly picking up their torches and pitchforks in a boisterous and bloody revolution.  My peeps, I beseech you,…have mercy.  All I wish is for a friendly debate.  Forget for a moment that I find this movie absurd, and those that like it, a smidge nutty.  We are still family, you are still loved, but till this Hangover hoop-la passes, I’ll still be looking at you a bit funny.  It can’t be helped.

A few questions if I might?  Seeing as if you answered “yes”:

  1. When did absurd (not-to-mention extremely unrealistic) circumstances become not just funny, but (Golden Globe caliber) hysterical?
  2. Do you think (as I do) that The Hangover was written, in its entirety, using Mad Libs?
  3. Do you think, perhaps, that The Hangover won it’s Golden Globe (as I do) by being the only full comedy, amidst a line-up of quasi comedies (i.e. Julie & Julia, It’s Complicated, 500 Days of Summer) and a musical (Nine)?  Where was Bruno or Zombieland?

I’m confused (not “hungover”).

The lines are open…


11 Responses to “THE HANGOVER :: COMEDY :: 034”

  1. rpcutts Says:

    Like most popular US comedies of the last 5 years I didn’t see what the fuss was about with this. Anything with Will Ferrell, almost everything with Ben Stiller post Something About Mary and all Adam Sandler since Waterboy. My friends think I’m nuts but I just don’t enjoy these movies.

    I laughed now and again at this but generally it was a bit pants. It was mildly entertaining so I’d give a 3.

    • joycereview Says:

      That’s because your classy Richard. Don’t listen to your friends. You are right. Where would I be if I thought exactly like my friends… then I would be the kind of person that loves this movie. I don’t think I could live like that! A good comedy is a hard thing to come by. What’s your #1 comedy? Mine just might be Harlem Nights.

      • rpcutts Says:

        Death at a Funeral
        Dr. Strangelove
        Blues Bothers
        Shaun of the Dead
        Hot Fuzz

        Guilty pleasure alert:
        Van Wilder Party Liaison (I know, I know, but it makes me laugh)

  2. Jennifer Pruna Says:

    Yeah…..I don’t get it. It isn’t even silly to me. Its just stupid…and not funny stupid. More like roll your eyes stupid. I am amazed how people find it funny. I guess the funny parts are the baby and the Chinese gangster? But…that’s it. Idk

  3. When did absurd (not-to-mention extremely unrealistic) circumstances become not just funny, but (Golden Globe caliber) hysterical?

    I don’t think it really was all that absurd. I have spent a few days severely hungover and trying to figure out what happened the night before and where people went. Most people that have had a significant party phase in their life can relate to the story even with some of the ridiculous circumstances in the movie.

    Also I know people exactly like those guys. I can look in my group of friends and point out The Stu, Phil, Doug, and Alan. It makes watching the movie that much more hilarious when I’m picturing my friends in those situations.

    Do you think (as I do) that The Hangover was written, in its entirety, using Mad Libs?

    I think The Hangover had very talented writers that were tuned in to what a vast majority of the country thought was funny. I hope they use the same writers in the second one.

    Do you think, perhaps, that The Hangover won it’s Golden Globe (as I do) by being the only full comedy, amidst a line-up of quasi comedies (i.e. Julie & Julia, It’s Complicated, 500 Days of Summer) and a musical (Nine)? Where was Bruno or Zombieland?

    Not at all. It was one of my favorite movies for 2009. In my top 5 for sure. I can’t wait for the sequel!

    • joycereview Says:

      Thanks for the wonderfully detailed review Elizah! So glad you won last month’s contest. You deserved it. I can’t speak for Richard, but Jenny and I are not huge party people. We get our kicks in other ways. And I’ve always seen “the sober life” to be the most interesting, if not only for the memory retention. Hmm… will I write a review for a sequel? probably. This film was hyped and surprisingly, to the masses, it delivered. Maybe when I’m older I’ll find it funnier. The liquor, drugs and strippers that I missed out on in my youth… but I doubt it.

      But now I ask everyone…
      What was the most funny scene/joke/stunt in the movie?

  4. The Urchins Says:

    My heart is aflutter with joy! I am the Joyce Review’s new biggest fan! I too found myself at a complete loss for laughs during The Hangover, but you’re the first person I have ever found that had the same experience! Your review was hilarious (actually hilarious, not Hangover hilarious). I even laughed out loud at the Schindler’s List and Mad Lib parts (2 whole times more than I laughed out loud during The Hangover!). I was absolutely beside myself when it won a Golden Globe, and like you, very, very confused. If you have a chance, check out my review (linked below), and thanks for letting me know I’m not alone on this!

    • joycereview Says:

      ooh! and you are mine! Cheers. Welcome to The Joyce Review. Here’s to a long, educational, and rewarding friendship. (clink!!!)

  5. Apatow movies aren’t all about the raunchiness – not sure how you come to that conclusion. His greatest directorial effort, Knocked Up, has a several raunchy scenes, but its theme of a Peter Pan type finally having to grow older and accept responsibility for his decisions is a good message, and it was the sparse film that most women and men could like together, it isn’t a chick-flick nor gross-a-thon. Alot of his other work treads similar ground. I like raunch, and I want there were more of it out there – the world needs more teenage sex comedies in these depressing times

  6. Helicon Says:

    I really don’t think this deserves a 1. Fair enough, it might not be everyones cup of tea, but there are some damn awful comedies out there that would score a -5 or more in comparison to The Hangover.

    I’ll definitely be giving it a second viewing.

    • joycereview Says:

      Hey there! Thanks for all the comments today. You’ve officially succeeded in posting the most comments by any one person in a single day. There should be a prize for that! 🙂 In regards to the rating of 1… I did so because it neglected to give me a single laugh. Not just that, but the jokes it attempted to make bordered on “completely juvenile.” I can’t think of many “worse” comedies. Even something like Schwarzenegger’s “Commando” (eventhough an action film), with it’s cheesy one-liners, was more of a comedy than The Hangover. Remember when he throws the pipe through the bad guy and says, “Let off some steam?”

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