Ever have one of those nights that leads into the next morning where you wake up in pain craving greasy eggs and extra strong coffee?  At that point you have probably done a calculation in your head where you tried to determine if this hangover was worth it.  By the time all is said and done “The Hangover” is worth it.

“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. They wake up in the morning and that’s the best they feel all day.”
– Dean Martin

Staring Bradly Cooper (He’s Just Not That Into You) as Phil, the uber cool-guy teacher; Ed Helms (The Office) as the hen-pecked dentist Stu; and Zach Galifianakis (Tim & Eric Awesome Show) as the weird guy Alan, this buddy comedy turns into a mystery as to how they lost the groom Doug played by Justin Bartha (National Treasure).   

The opening sequences depict a wedding being prepared while the bride attempts to call all members of the bachelor party, none of which are responding.  When Phil finally calls back to inform here that things went horribly wrong we flash back to two days earlier: Doug and Alan are having their tuxedos fitted.  Doug invites Alan along for the Vegas bachelor party and Alan accepts.  The father of the bride (Jeffery Tambor) offers Doug his Mercedes for the weekend, Doug and Alan proceed to pick up his two friends for the road trip.  

The trip to Vegas includes some spectacular shots of the strip, and would make a great tourist information video. Nearly every landmark casino is featured and the aura of Vegas is captured.  

Director Todd Phillips (Old School) directs these montages and time-lapse scenes very well.  Beyond that he gets very solid performances out of the three principle characters.  No one actor steals the movie, though individual scenes highlight a particular character, that is were each actor is given a chance to shine.

 Once in Vegas the four sneak onto the roof of Ceaser’s Palace and start the night off with a shot. One time-lapse scene later and Stu wakes up on the floor of the hotel room, missing a tooth with a live chicken walking around him.  He is too hung over to realize he sits in a smoldering chair.  Alan awakes to the call of nature to find a live tiger in the bathroom. Phil, the de facto leader, of the bunch advises everyone to calm down, despite the fact that nobody can find their friend Doug who is now only 48 hours away from getting married.  

The three have no memory of the previous night’s events and attempt to piece things together from the starting point on the roof.  Each clue leads them further down a wild path that includes a stolen police car, a drive-through wedding chapel, the Chinese mafia and Mike Tyson singing “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.  

The film draws you in as the viewer gets no additional clues and must follow the misadventures of these three trying to recreate the night that was.  Given these three vastly different personalities involved, their varied reactions to each situation drive the film’s comedy.  

That comedy is decidedly adult in nature, though not as gross or vulgar as a Judd Apatow film.  That doesn’t take away from this being probably the funniest movie since “The Forty-Year-Old Virgin”  

The hangover is an under-the-radar comedy that is soon to be a hit. The ensemble cast works well together and the situational humor is persistent and steady throughout the 100 minute runtime.

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