Hangover Spark

“Every summer has its surprise hit, and The Hangover is starting to look like this season’s unexpected breakout,” writes L.A. Times reporter John Horn. “Even though the bachelor-party-gone-bad comedy doesn’t open until June 5, The Hangover already is generating such positive reactions that Warner Bros. is developing a sequel — a strong vote of confidence for a movie with no big stars, no comic book tie-in and no obvious franchise traits.

“Just as the R-rated comedies American Pie, Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin transformed excellent word-of-mouth into strong summer ticket sales, The Hangover should benefit from the kind of positive moviegoer chatter that largely has been missing from the summer spell — save Star Trek.”

Note: Warner Bros. marketing would do well to remove this particular Hangover poster variation in all media, for obvious reasons.

51 thoughts on “Hangover Spark

  1. This was really one of the funnier screenplays I’ve read in a long while, although it must have been an earlier draft that I got because there’s no baby, or police car, or Mike Tyson or anything else from the trailer in the script. Which means it’s probably even funnier. Can’t wait.

  2. Saying this six months ago would have been prescient for Horn, but it’s been fairly obvious for weeks now. Just as it was for American Pie, Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin in the fortnight before release.

  3. Except that the sequel was greenlit months ago, before any critic had seen the movie, so how can John Horn possibly think that any studio would make their sequel decision based on positive reviews?

  4. Ed Helms is hilarious.

    When I first saw the trailer, I thought the bearded guy was Joaquin Phoenix (after meltdown)

  5. Yeah, the Mike Tyson tragedy may put an unexpected, not too positive spin on the whole thing. Timing is everything.

  6. this is the kind of movie you hit opening day matinee with your best buddies and some 40s – cant wait

    does anyone know what song the guy sings who sang Total Eclipse in Old School?

  7. Todd Phillips should not be aspiring to a “return to form” that means emulating Old School. Well, maybe he should because it’ll make a ton of money. But Old School is one of the more overrated comedies of my (twentysomething) age group — terribly directed, really sloppy and uneven, and only partially redeemed by the Ferrell and Vaughn performances (which are funny though both have been funny elsewhere and will be funny again). It’s not nearly as beloved, but he did a much better job on Starsky & Hutch.

    Maybe the appealing comic-mystery structure of Hangover will help it out — there are a couple of fun gags in the trailer — but please remember that this is basically the plot to Dude Where’s My Car (which itself was already better-remade as Harold & Kumar).

  8. Jesse… no.

    Starsky & Hutch is in no way shape or form better than Old School.

    Hangover looks like a great time.

  9. Ils cont venu, ils on bu, ils ne se souviennent plus.

    They came, they drank, they don’t remember anything?

    At least it rhymes in French. Where did this poster come from? Were they showing this thing at Cannes?

  10. berkguru — they’re called The Dan Band and in The Hangover, it looks like they’re singing a song called Candy Shop

  11. Is the “Very Bad Trip” slogan on the poster an homage to this film’s apparent doppelganger, “Very Bad Things?”

  12. I just hate it when movies are funny and entertaining!!!!!!

    This looks better than THE WEDDING CRASHERS, which was too long, too obvious and not that funny. And why did Christopher Walken have to be a Senator?

  13. Sometimes you just get a feeling from a preview. I thought this film had something before the positive tracking came in. The concept and locale are derivative but the cutting in the trailer works. Conversely, G.I. Joe left me flat. Anyone think it has a chance?

    Agreed on WC, as well. A harder-edged script might’ve helped, although that might have scared off some business, to be fair.

  14. Is a contemporary comedy even gonna make me laugh? None of the stuff that’s supposed to be funny coming out of Hollywood these days ever makes me laugh or entices me to rent it.

    The trailers of such so-called comedies are enough to turn me off the movies they’re advertising. All the Apatow-related mediocrity, the Ferrell/Sandler/Myers/Stiller/Vaughn crap.

    And I love comedy, which is why I’m so depressed at the state of affairs. I go to comedy clubs, I like The Office, Curb, Simpsons. I love Spinal Tap, Lebowski, Young Frankenstein. I believe that I DO have a sense of humour…

    I watched the Hangover trailer and cracked a smile maybe once when Helms got punched.

  15. Seen this trailer with three different crowds and they eat it up everytime. The Tyson bit to conclude it plays awesome, which made me wonder how much money he got. Because that tag on the trailer alone could be worth 8 digits with the general public. .

  16. Steven Kar:

    For it to be launched in the summer, a comedy has to be broad, familiar and dumb. Niche comedy simply won’t open big enough to bust through the clutter.

    Gone (mostly) are the days of the small-scale, more-intelligent/witty-than-slapstick comedy. Only in Indies.

  17. George Prager wrote:

    This looks better than THE WEDDING CRASHERS, which was too long, too obvious and not that funny.

    It would have been a comedy classic if trimmed to 85 minutes.

  18. Ryan, the gags in S&H have much better set-up/pay-off than those in Old School, and the whole thing runs a lot smoother. The gag with Stiller’s car, for example, isn’t exaclty unpredictable, but it’s hilariously executed in the end. Whereas a lot of Old School scenes just kind of flop around because something zany is happening. Can anyone tell me *why* Ferrell gets hit with a tranq gun in that famous scene in Old School? Without much build-up or reasoning, it doesn’t really strike me as funny, and then Phillips just cuts to the next bit without much payoff. And don’t get me started on the gymnastics gag towards the end. Incredibly lazy.

    S&H doesn’t flow as well as the best comedies, and Phillips has a creepy problem with letting women be funny (the jokes women get in his movies are always: they’re really hot, isn’t that funny that they’re making out with the heroes and/or each other? And my answer is no, not really, why don’t get they get real jokes? Why do you keep hiring Carmen Electra and Amy Smart?)… but it’s a lot more polished than Old School, and there’s less of a black hole at its center than there is with the Luke Wilson parts of Old School (which are far longer and more numerous than the movie’s fans probably remember). Scene for scene, it’s a funnier movie, in large part due to the Stiller/Wilson chemistry.

  19. To all the people posting that they hated Wedding Crashers, I Love You Man, Ferrell, Apatow, etc:

    DO NOT GO SEE THE HANGOVER.

    Are you so stupid that you don’t have your own movie tastes figured out yet, even after repeated bad experiences with the same formula in the same genre?

    Or are you so pudding-brained that you succumb to saturation advertising against your will? Or do you just love filling your spare time complaining on the internet instead of doing something worthwhile?

    Whatever the answer, it’s awfully annoying to read the same complaints over and over and over.

  20. Jesse-

    The tranq dart scene is famous because WILL HAS A FUNNY VOICE. If you don’t get that then I don’t know what to tell you. Comedy might not be your thing.

    But I would recommend getting high and then inhaling a few balloons full of helium as a research project.

  21. Gordie – you’re complaining about people complaining.

    The question is, do ‘you’ love filling your spare time complaining on the internet instead of doing something worthwhile?

    You contributed nothing but insulting several people and pointing out the obviousness of their obviousness.

    And here I am complaining about you complaining about them complaining. It looks like we’re both assholes here, but at least I realize it.

  22. Gordie, I couldn’t tell if your comment was sarcastic at first, but from the previous comment I’m assuming it’s not. But it can almost pass as sarcastic, because no, I don’t get “funny voice.” A good comedy will go beyond “funny voice” and into, say, I don’t know, behavior.

    And I like a lot of the comedies you call out above and that Steven Kar above lumps together as all crap/all the time. I love Ferrell: love Anchorman, love Talladega, will defend Step Brothers to the death as a weirdly brilliant narrative deconstruction (and fucking hilarious movie). I do think there’s a lot of undue carping about Apatow, whose movies (ones he directs *and* the ones he produces) are funny more often than not.

    But: Phillips is no Apatow, no Adam McKay, no Greg Mottola… for the most part, he comes off as lazy.

  23. Gordie–

    I complained about today’s comedies because I’m depressed and frustrated that the vast majority of them are so awful, because I’m comparing them to some of the funny comedies I like and asking why can’t they be funny and sharp and consistent.

    Why does catering to the mainstream mean dumbing down to the mainstream. Maybe because the mainstream is dumb.

    I’m one of those people who approach the word “mainstream” with suspicion when I hear it because to me it is synonymous with crap, almost always.

    I see nothing wrong with complaining on a movie site that encourages a back and forth between its readers. If you think about it, every post on this site about every article is either a complaint or a voicing of opinion. But so what?

    Jesse–

    I lump them all together because I see them as the same awful product. What’s wrong with that?

    However, I do admit that Anchorman was funny and I have seen it many times. I guess it was a freak occurrence.

  24. bents75-

    Considering that I post here about once a week, don’t worry about me wasting too much spare time. I have plenty of creative outlets and don’t let my jealousy of other peoples success manifest itself as amateur film criticism. And my comments are almost always positive (as they initially were here) or at least tongue in cheek.

    I seriously don’t get the phenomena of people going to movies they don’t like. It took me exactly one Bruckheimer/Bay film (The Rock) to realize they weren’t for me. It took one Dreamworks Animation film (Shrek) to do the same.

    I’ve never seen any other films by those people and never will and you’ll never hear me complaining about them or posting in threads about them. When I don’t like something I simply don’t concern myself with it, and I can’t get my mind around why others can’t so the same.

    Read down through all the posts one the front page. 90% of them are negative. Mike Myers sucks. Tarrantino sucks. Sam Mendes sucks. It’s the same people over and over. Why would anyone who hates films so much spend so much time talking about them?

    and jesse- My apologies. You obviously have good taste in comedies. What I should have said is that the dart scene was famous for being the funniest scene in a hit-or-miss movie. The Hangover is miles funnier.

  25. It could very well be a hit. It is, however, Apatow lite, with Apatow rejects starring in it and more dead patches than Sting’s scalp

  26. It’s good to see Zach Galifianakis get his due.

    In the first trailer I saw, the baby cried when it got hit by the door. In subsequent trailers it didn’t. Who wants to bet it gets numbed down even more for the movie, if that scene even stays in?

    I really liked Step Brothers and Talladega Nights, but skipped Wedding Crashers, Old School, S&H, and Harold & Kumar because I didn’t think the trailers were funny and they usually put the best parts in them. Dude, Where’s My Car had some funny moments.

    I’ll see anything by Adam Mckay. He writes great scenes for women. Kathryn Hahn was my favorite part in Step Brothers. I also liked this because it was marketed as vapid summer comedy fare, and yet had a deeper underlying message– that even though it was silly watching two 40-something men acting like 14-year olds, it was even sillier watching them act their age. A sublime comedic feat that I think half the audience may have missed.

    @bents75– “pointing out the obviousness of their obviousness” — love it.

    I’m not an Apatow hater. I loved his TV shows and some of his movies — 40 year old virgin, uh, well, one of his movies. I think he needs to edit more. He seems to keep a lot of stuff because he thinks it’s funny, but it can end up in SNL-land, where the joke extends too long. This could be because of his improv style of directing. I may or may not see Funny People, but if it’s anything like what they show in the trailer– Adam Sandler being serious, Seth Rogan being weepy and fannish, I’ll wait for DVD. Looks like another Reign Over Me to me.

    @Steven Kar– I’d love to see a movie advertised as “loved by mainstream America…”

    @Gordie– I don’t mind the complaints. With movie ticket prices through the roof, I’d rather read someone else’s complaints about a film before I see it than imagine them suffering in agony over the torture they put themselves through watching a film they hated by a director they despise.

  27. “Every summer has its surprise hit, and The Hangover is starting to look like this season’s unexpected breakout,”

    If it was made 20 years ago, had a PG rating, and was called Three Men and a Baby, sure. Also, American Pie appealed to the teen crowd, while ‘Virgin and Knocked Up appeal to the geek crowd. This flick appeals to people who saw Fear and Loathing and Very Bad Things in theaters.

    Scott: Nope, this Broken Lizard-wannabe annoys the hell out of me, too.

  28. “This flick appeals to people who saw Fear and Loathing and Very Bad Things in theaters.”

    So you’re going on record saying The Hangover won’t be a hit?

  29. “but please remember that this is basically the plot to Dude Where’s My Car (which itself was already better-remade as Harold & Kumar).”

    If this movie has a plot half as brilliantly surreal as ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’, I’ll be happy. I’m not holding that up as a great movie, but the plot is way more bizarre than any mainstream comedy ten years on either side of it.

  30. Fake DZ, the real DZ would never think of a comparison as sensible as comparing a movie about three men finding a baby to ‘Three Men and a Baby’. He would compare it to ‘The Exorcist’, or ‘Fitzcarraldo’, or possibly ‘The Seven Samurai’. You’re still not getting how to do it.

  31. Man, I go on vacation for a week and I come back to someone trying to impersonate Zelter. That’s hilarious.

    Gordon’s right, you’re a fraud. Your sentences are too long and wordy, your comparisons aren’t nearly as confounding (which isn’t to say they’re accurate), and — the dead giveaway — your writing is far too self-aware and explanatory. D.Z. just throws shit out there with absolutely no compulsion to explain it.

    He’s one strange, aloof motherfucker and I don’t think he’s easily impersonated (although I think even I could do a better job than your pathetic attempt if that was my sort of thing).

    I really hope that is as close as I’ll ever get to complimenting the guy.

  32. John Goodman, Ralph Fiennes and Jerry Lewis — together at last! If Bruce Willis does the voice of the baby, this will be the best movie ever.

  33. Gordon: I liked “Dude, Where’s My Car?” when it was called “Zapped”. And I just compared Hangover to Fear and Loathing. Or would Barfly be more appropriate?

  34. This Zach Galifianakis writeup was featured on the front page of the Times, along with a mock screen test:

    ttp://preview.tinyurl.com/lpvt73

    Mike O’Connell is another one to watch if you like this style of humor.

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