Enough Belly Laughs

“I caught The Hangover at a screening in London a couple of weeks ago, and it really was a great little comedy,” says HE reader James Smith. “Zach Galifianakis is superb, and the sequence in the [end] credits is fantastic — the night they can’t remember is finally seen through digital camera photos (although I overheard a few studio people say at my screening that a couple of frames featuring a blowjob won’t be in the final released version).

“It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but you wouldn’t expect it to. It’s loud and it’s stupid, but not derivatively or in a way that would make someone as notoriously pissy as yourself (like me!) irritated that it’s pandering to the masses. Sometimes a movie comes along with enough belly laughs to see you through an evening and part of the next day, and The Hangover does just that. And I’m saying this as someone who didn’t like Old School.

“I disliked only two things. Bradley Cooper seems to be chewing gum through the first hour and it really pissed me off. And Ken Jeong is playing a strangely camp Asian gangster and the characterisation seemed to play to the crowd a little too much. A bit too broad for my liking, but I chuckled with a hint of guilt a few times.

“I’ll be doing a full review for Little White Lies, a beautifully designed movie magazine I think you’ll love. Check it out.”

25 thoughts on “Enough Belly Laughs

  1. Gordie Lachance on said:

    I caught the Ken Jeong thing in a commercial. His character was written to be more menacing, but he seems to be doing a callback to his fem King character in Role Models.

    Oh well, it worked the first time.

  2. it is kind of going to warm my heart when zach galifianakis gets rich & famous off this thing. although i am scratching my head as to what’s got wells so pumped for this one after seeing visions of the book of revelations during step brothers

  3. So it’s loud, stupid, and panders to the masses, but not in ways that would irritate someone who lies to himself about having a semblance of taste in his body. It has no originality to speak of, but because diminished returns have left you expecting nothing but the same shit over and over again, that’s pretty much okay. Oh, but let’s also make sure we save our highest praise for the END CREDITS!!!

    Sounds like a fucking masterpiece.

    BTW, I think you’ve got some serious “film critic” competition here, Wellsy.

  4. “someone as notoriously pissy as yourself ”

    Huh. Who noticed?

    BTW, I don’t know if I can take this review seriously coming from someone who didn’t like Old School.

    Old School was FUNNY. Wedding Crashers (at least the first half, 2/3rds) was FUNNY. Anchorman was FUNNY. 40 Year Old Virgin was FUNNY.

    It’s not the fault of any of those films that the succeeding imitators steadily got worse and worse. It’s a formula that got played out– wow, like THAT has never happened before in Hollywood.

    You can’t hate the movies that went first just because the ones that came later were bad. I see Wells do this all the time, with Jaws and Star Wars, basically calling them shitty films because of all the shitty films they inspired, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Anyway, I hope this one is good for some easy laughs.

  5. If you ever catch The 40-Year-Old Virgin on TV you can see just how faithfully it has been used as a blueprint for every big comedy that’s come out in the past four years. Like, the Asia poster in Carell’s apartment basically gets blown up from a prop into a major plot element in Role Models and I Love You, Man. If Rudd and Rogen had gotten together in the end, as I kind of expected due to Saving Silverman exposure during formative years, I can only assume that by this point we would have seen raunchy yet warmhearted gay Brown Bunny action in a studio summer comedy.

    I see a little bit of historical revisionism in crazynine’s assessment of Wedding Crashers, though…I seem to recall that at the time it was getting zinged as kind of a bloated last gasp of the Frat Pack vs. the new hottness of 40YOV. And I mean really, there are some lols, Isla Fisher is a great sport, but it pretty much sucks.

  6. KC, I don’t mean to come across as a shit hole, but if you just seriously used “lol’s” in anything other than an ironic text to a buddy, you’re opinion is null and void good sir. Null. And void.

    And no, I don’t have some overbearing love for any of the films you mentioned, I have a overbearing love for the fucking english language.

  7. Oh, look into your heart and tell me honestly that the level of discourse in the average H-E comments section sets it that far removed from a comedy text exchange. But I can see how the casual bastardization of the English language might really eat away at you given “you’re” stated passion for your mother tongue, ZINGUMS

  8. “Like, the Asia poster in Carell’s apartment basically gets blown up from a prop into a major plot element in Role Models and I Love You, Man.”

    That’s a pretty specious point, given that you yourself cite a movie that pre-dates ‘Virgin’ and shows that the “random musician that the character loves appearing as themself” cameo idea was a cliche from way back. Steve Carell and Judd Apatow did not invent making pop culture references to things they grew up liking.

  9. Hello all, James here – the guy who wrote to Jeff with this little review. A few comments:

    @Crazynine: I liked Anchorman. I liked 40 Year Old Virgin. I also liked the first chunk of Wedding Crashers. I didn’t like Old School. Each to their own, right? I’m pretty sure that doesn’t make my opinion invalid.

    @p.Vice: I’m quite sure I’m not ‘lying to myself about having any semblance of taste in my body.’ Is it not possible for someone to like a movie that isn’t claiming to be high art? This movie is designed to make you laugh, and it works. I’m not going to be so much of a dick to list a top ten or run through my DVD collection, but my taste is pretty fucking impeccable, thank you very much. I went into The Hangover expecting nothing from the director of a movie I didn’t really like, and was pleasantly surprised. Sue me for having the kind of personality that actually allows me to recant on filmmaker prejudice rather than sticking to my guns contrary to all evidence.

  10. I was drunk, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

    Nicely played KC. Should have seen that coming.

  11. Old School was FUNNY. Wedding Crashers (at least the first half, 2/3rds) was FUNNY. Anchorman was FUNNY. 40 Year Old Virgin was FUNNY.

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  13. So it’s loud, stupid, and panders to the masses, but not in ways that would irritate someone who lies to himself about having a semblance of taste in his body. It has no originality to speak of, but because diminished returns have left you expecting nothing but the same shit over and over again, that’s pretty much okay. Oh, but let’s also make sure we save our highest praise for the END CREDITS!!!

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