I am somewhat embarrassed about having watched this movie, and I had an obscenely good time doing it. The sleeve says it took one hour and thirty-six minutes, and it seems like it took all night. I enjoyed myself immensely.
This is Hollywood slapstick at its worst. I would not choose to watch this, and the previews would turn me off. But Trisha had the foresight to slip it into the Netflix queue while she was going to be out of town for the week. So here it was on the coffee table this evening, just when I needed a break from it all. And a break I got.
I recognized none of the actors, except Mike Tyson, playing himself in a minor role. All of them did a marvelous job in this story of a bachelor’s party gone very wrong. The movie starts out showing a classy wedding being set up. The groom is missing. The best man calls the bride from a roadside stop in the desert telling her they lost the groom. “But we’re getting married in five hours!” she says. “That’s not going to happen,” he responds.
Then the movie rewinds two days and we see three best friends and the groom leave for Las Vegas for a night on the town. The three friends all have profound problems of their own, each in his own quirky way. One is engaged to the bitch from hell, another can’t be within four blocks of a public school (don’t ask why) and the third is a school teacher with an attitude.
We miss most of what happens during the night, but we find them waking up totally wasted in their suite in Ceasar’s Palace. None of them can remember a thing of what happened. There is a baby in the closet, a chicken running around the room, and a full-sized tiger in the bathroom. They can’t find Doug, the groom. Their car is gone, and instead the valet brings them a police car.
And this is just about 5 minutes of movie runtime. Something outlandish happens every thirty seconds. The dialog is funny every step of the way. With every discovery and possible clue there is no solution, but rather, the guys are getting deeper and deeper into trouble. Only gradually the night unravels, and we don’t fully understand what all went down until the credits roll in the end.
Watching The Hangover was like going on a mini-vacation. It was almost exhausting watching it. It was like Sideways on steroids. It was worth it.