The Hangover is a 2009 American comedy film directed by Todd Phillips, written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, and produced by Todd Phillips and Daniel Goldberg. It stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha and Jeffrey Tambor, and was produced by Legendary Pictures on a budget of US$35 million.
The plot follows four friends who travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, only to wake up the next morning not remembering a thing and missing the groom, whose wedding is scheduled to occur the next day. The film was inspired by the filmmakers' real-life misadventures, and was released in North America on June 5, 2009.
The Hangover had an international box office gross of $467.3 million. The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and received multiple other awards and nominations.
The film begins in medias res in Los Angeles with a bride, Tracy (Sasha Barrese), receiving a phone call from Phil (Bradley Cooper) who tells her that he and the other groomsmen cannot find the groom, Doug (Justin Bartha).
Two days prior to the wedding, Doug and his best friends Phil, Stu (Ed Helms), and soon-to-be brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis) drive to Las Vegas for Doug's bachelor party. Tracy's father, Sid (Jeffrey Tambor), lends them his car, a silver vintage Mercedes for the trip. The four get a villa at Caesars Palace hotel and casino, then sneak onto the roof and make toasts.
The next morning, the three groomsmen wake up in the suite with no memory of the previous night, soon realizing that Doug is missing. The suite is in severe disorder: a tiger is in the bathroom, a baby is in the closet, Stu is missing a tooth, one of the suite's mattresses is impaled on a statue outside, Phil is wearing a hospital bracelet, and a valet brings them a police cruiser instead of the Mercedes.
While retracing their steps, a doctor at the local hospital informs them that they had traces of roofies in their blood, explaining their memory loss, and that they came from a wedding. They find the chapel, and learn that Stu, despite planning to propose to his mean-spirited girlfriend Melissa (Rachael Harris), married an escort named Jade (Heather Graham), who turns out to be the mother of the baby in the closet.
In the chapel parking lot, they escape an attack by two Asian gangsters. Confused, the men visit Jade's apartment and return the baby, but are arrested by two police officers who charge them for stealing their car. The officers explain that they found the Mercedes, as Phil negotiates their release in exchange for their volunteering as targets for a Taser demonstration. They then retrieve the miraculously-unharmed Mercedes from an impound lot. While driving, they discover a naked Asian man (Ken Jeong) in the trunk. The man attacks them with a crowbar and runs away. Alan then admits to spiking their drinks with roofies the night before, only because he thought the pills were ecstasy.
Caesars Palace - Across Bellagio Lake.jpgthumbleftalt=Caesars Palace
They return to the hotel room to find Mike Tyson looking for his stolen tiger and listening to "In the Air Tonight". Tyson knocks out Alan and orders them to return the pet to his mansion. They drug the tiger with roofies so they can safely transport it in the back of the Mercedes, but it wakes up and destroys the interior of the car. They push the car for the last mile with the tiger awake inside the car. Tyson shows them security footage of them stealing the tiger, in an effort to help them locate Doug.
Resuming their search, the three are once again confronted by the thugs, who blindside the Mercedes into a pole. They turn out to be led by the man they found in the trunk of their car, a gangster named Leslie Chow. According to Chow, the groomsmen have $80,000 of his money, which they accidentally took the night before when Alan grabbed the wrong (and identical to his own) purse. Later that night, Chow went to get the money from Phil, and Phil threw him in the trunk, claiming him to be 'his lucky charm.' Chow demands it back in exchange for Doug, whom he has kidnapped. Unable to find the money, Alan uses his knowledge of card counting to win it playing blackjack. Later, they meet up with Chow, exchanging the money for Doug, but Chow had kidnapped a different man named Doug (Mike Epps), who turns out to be the drug dealer who sold Alan the roofies.
With no other options left, Phil is forced to call Tracey and confess their failure, bringing the story back to where the film started. As Alan and Stu have a brief conversation, Stu suddenly realizes where Doug is. After stopping Phil and reassuring Tracey that everything is okay, they head back to Vegas. Stu tells everyone his theory: Doug must be on the roof of the hotel, since it was a similar prank that he and Phil pulled on Doug in the past. The mattress must have been thrown to try to signal someone for help.
Rushing back to the roof, they find Doug, weary and severely sunburned. They now have less than four hours before the wedding. Before leaving, Stu meets with Jade and the pair agree that they cannot remain married, but promise to meet the following weekend for a date. Jade also reveals that Stu had pulled out his own tooth on a bet from Alan.
As they rush home, Doug reveals that he found Chow's $80,000 worth of casino chips in his jacket pocket on the roof. They arrive and Doug marries Tracy, Phil happily returns to his wife and son, and Stu proudly and angrily breaks up with Melissa. In a deleted scene, Doug tries to explain the progressively worsening damage on the Mercedes to an unaware Sid. Before he can do so, Sid assumes Tracy revealed the surprise: the Mercedes is Sid's wedding gift. Doug doesn't break the news; instead he cracks up laughing and accepts. As the reception ends, Alan finds Stu's digital camera chronicling the events they were unable to remember, and the four agree to look at the pictures only once before erasing the evidence.
As the credits roll, pictures from the camera are shown.
EdHelmsJune09.jpgthumb200pxrightHelms at the Irish premiere of The Hangover at the Savoy Cinema, Dublin
* Bradley Cooper as Phil Wenneck, the groom's best friend, a school teacher who is bored with married life and the main protagonist of the film. Phil seems to be the most experienced member of the group as far as dealing with bad situations and becomes the de facto leader of the group after Doug gets lost. He is a risk-taker and is ready to do anything to get Doug back unhurt. He is blunt and frequently rude but makes a sincere effort to keep Alan calm when he becomes worried that Doug might be in real trouble, or possibly dead.
* Ed Helms as Stu Price, a Jewish dentist, friend of the groom and the deuteragonist of the film. Stu seems to have the most money out of anyone in the group, with the rest of the guys frequently asking him to pay the check, much to Stu's resistance. Phil and Stu frequently argue about Melissa, Stu's girlfriend, who Phil dislikes because of his view that she is mean to Stu and overly controlling. Stu is the most pessimistic and is constantly reminding everyone that Doug may be hurt or even dead
* Zach Galifianakis as Alan Garner, the socially awkward, soon to be brother-in-law of the groom and the tritagonist of the film. He is fond of Doug, Phil and Stu, and worries when Doug goes missing. He is especially fond of Phil, whom he often imitates throughout the movie.
* Justin Bartha as Doug Billings, the soon-to-be groom who is taken to Vegas by his 3 best friends only to be lost after being drugged. The focus of the movie is for Phil, Stu and Alan to find Doug and bring his safely back to L.A. for his wedding.
* Heather Graham as Jade, a kindly stripper/escort and single mother who marries Stu and helps the three win back the money for Chow in the casino
* Sasha Barrese as Tracy Garner, the bride
* Rachael Harris as Melissa, Stu's hateful girlfriend. Harris previously co-starred with Helms on The Daily Show
* Jeffrey Tambor as Sid Garner, father of the bride
* Bryan Callen as Eddie Palermo, owner of the "Best Little Wedding Chapel"
* Rob Riggle as Officer Franklin, a cop who gets his revenge on the guys after they stole his police car
* Cleo King as Officer Garden
* Matt Walsh as Dr. Valsh, a Las Vegas doctor
* Ken Jeong as Leslie Chow, a small effeminate Las Vegas gangster who demands his lost prize money and apparently kidnaps Doug and the main antagonist of the film.
* Mike Epps as "Black Doug", a drug dealer
* Jernard Burks as Leonard, Mike Tyson's right-hand man
* Ian Anthony Dale as Chow's #1
* Gillian Vigman as Stephanie Wenneck, Phil's wife
* Sondra Currie as Linda Garner, mother of the bride
* Nathalie Fay as Lisa, the hotel stewardess at Caesars Palace
* as Tyler, Jade's baby, who is called Carlos by Alan
* Mike Tyson as Himself. Tyson was not originally interested in the project until he found out Todd Phillips had directed Old School, which Tyson enjoyed.
Tyson later said the film helped turn his life around, the job offer and fun he had on set convinced him to clean up his act.
* Todd Phillips, the film's director, cameoed as Mr. Creepy, who appears briefly in an elevator; he sports a mustache, wears sunglasses, and is accompanied by a woman
* Mike Vallely as Neeco, the high speed tuxedo delivery man
* Wayne Newton as Himself, in photo slide show
* Carrot Top as Himself, in photo slide show
* Dan Finnerty and The Dan Band, the wedding band
* Lucinda Jenney in a non-speaking appearance paying tribute to her role as "Iris" in Rain Man (1988): As the groomsmen approach the blackjack table, the camera pans across Jenney, whose dark blue, rhinestone-accented dress is identical to the one she wore as Iris.
Helms, Galifianakis, and Cooper were all casual acquaintances before The Hangover was filmed, which Helms said he believed helped in establishing a rapport and chemistry between their characters. Helms credited Phillips for "bringing together three guys who are really different, but really appreciate each other's humor and sensibilities." Helms also said the fact that the story of the three characters growing closer and bonding informed the friendship between the three actors: "As you spend 14 hours a day together for three months, you see a lot of sides of somebody. We went through the wringer together, and that shared experience really made us genuine buddies."
Us Weekly reported that Lindsay Lohan was offered a role but ultimately turned it down, because the screenplay "had no potential." The article claimed that Lohan's agent "tried hard to get Phillips to consider her, and when he finally agreed, Lindsay said she didn't like the script."
The plot was reportedly inspired by a real-life event that happened to Tripp Vinson, a producer friend of The Hangover executive producer Chris Bender. Vinson had gone missing from his own Las Vegas bachelor party, blacking out and waking up "in a strip club being threatened with a very, very large bill was supposed to pay".
The original script written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore sold to Warner Bros. for more than $2,000,000. The story was about three pals who lose the groom at his Vegas bachelor party and then must retrace their steps to figure out what happened.
The script was then rewritten by Jeremy Garelick and director Todd Phillips, who added Mike Tyson and his tiger, the baby, and the police cruiser. The Writers Guild of America did not permit their work to be credited due to what Phillips described as an "insane" and "nebulous" set of rules.
Fifteen days of filming occurred in Nevada.
Helms said filming The Hangover was more physically demanding than any other role he had done, and that he lost eight pounds while making the film. He said the most difficult day of shooting was the scene when Mr. Chow rams his car and attacks the main characters, which Helms said required many takes and was very painful, such as when a few of the punches and kicks accidentally landed and when his knees and shins were hurt while being pulled out of a window. The missing tooth was not created with prosthetics or visual effects, but is naturally occurring: Helms never had an adult incisor grow, and got a dental implant as a teenager which was removed for filming.
Phillips tried to convince the actors to allow him to use a real Taser until Warner Bros. lawyers stepped in.
Regarding the explicit shots in the final photo slide show in which his character is seen receiving fellatio in an elevator, Galifianakis confirmed that a prosthesis was used for the scene, and that he had been more embarrassed than anyone else during the creation of the shot. "You would think that I wouldn't be the one who was embarrassed; I was extremely embarrassed. I really didn't even want it in there. I offered Todd's assistant a lot of money to convince him to take it out of the movie. I did. But it made it in there."
The scenes involving animals were filmed mostly with trained animals. Trainers and safety equipment were digitally removed from the final version. Some prop animals were used, such as when the tiger was hidden under a sheet and being moved on a baggage cart. Such efforts were awarded with an "Outstanding" rating by the American Humane Association for the monitoring and treatment of the animals.
The film had several cross-promotions and corporate partners. The hotel Caesars Palace which featured in the film and their corporate parent, Harrah's Casino Hotels, offered a special Hangover package deal. Drinkin Mate, Feel Better the Next Day, co-sponsored radio satellite promotions in Los Angeles and Chicago. Fast food restaurant White Castle and skincare company 'Peter Thomas Roth' also ran promotions.http
The Hangover proved to be a financial success. On its first day of release, the film drew $16,734,033 on approximately 4,500 screens at 3,269 sites, beating out the big budgeted Land of the Lost — the other major new release of the weekend — for first day take.
Although initial studio projections had the Disney/Pixar film Up holding on to the number one slot for a second consecutive weekend, final revised figures, bolstered by a surprisingly strong Sunday showing, ultimately had The Hangover finishing first for the weekend, with $44,979,319 from 3,269 theaters, averaging $13,759 per venue, narrowly edging out Up for the top spot, and more than doubling the take of Land of the Lost, which finished third with $18.8 million.
The film beat even Warner Bros.' own expectations — which had anticipated it would finish third behind Up and Land of the Lost — benefiting from positive word-of-mouth and critical praise, and a generally negative buzz for Land of the Lost. Yahoo! Movies It stayed at the number one position in its second weekend grossing another $32,794,387, from 3,355 theaters for an average of $9,775 per venue, and bringing the 10-day amount to $104,768,489.
As of December 17, 2009 it has grossed $277,322,503 in the United States and Canada, making more than six times its opening as the opening weekend made up only 16.2% of the total gross. It also made an additional $190,000,000 in international markets, for a total worldwide gross of $467,322,503, making it the ninth highest grossing movie of 2009, as well as the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever in the United States (second when accounting for inflation), surpassing a record previously held by Beverly Hills Cop for almost 25 years.
Out of all R-rated movies, it is the third highest grossing ever in the U.S., behind only The Passion of the Christ and The Matrix Reloaded.http
The film received mostly positive reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 78% of critics gave the film a positive rating, based on 203 reviews, with an average score of 6.7/10. At the website Metacritic, which uses a normalized rating system, the film earned a favorable rating of 73/100 based on 31 reviews.
Film critic Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars out of four, stating "Now this is what I'm talkin' about. The Hangover is a funny movie, flat out, all the way through. Its setup is funny. Every situation is funny. Most of the dialogue is funny almost line by line." Among those who did not like the film were Richard Corliss of Time, who thought "virtually every joke either is visible long before it arrives or extends way past its expiration date" and added, "Whatever the other critics say, this is a bromance so primitive it's practically Bro-Magnon." In his review in the Baltimore Sun, Michael Sragow called the film a "foul mesh of cheap cleverness and vulgarity," and Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News rated it 2½ out of 5 stars and noted, "Amusing as it is, it never feels real. That may not seem like a big deal — a lot of funny movies play by their own rules — except that The Hangover keeps doubling-down on the outlandishness."
Many critics noted the weak character development, especially in its female characters.
Ebert, despite his praise, stated, "I won't go so far as to describe it as a character study" but that the film is more than the sum of its parts - parts that may at first seem a little generic or clichéd,
since many other films (such as Very Bad Things) have already explored the idea of a weekend in Vegas gone wrong. Critics also complained about misogyny and stereotyping, in particular the Asian gangster.
The Hangover was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD on December 15, 2009. There is a single disc theatrical version featuring both full and wide screen option (DVD only), as well as a wide screen two-disc unrated version of the film (DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD). The unrated version is approximately eight minutes longer than the theatrical version. The unrated version is on disc one and the theatrical version, digital copy, and the different featurettes are on disc two.
The Hangover beat Inglourious Basterds and G-Force in first week DVD and Blu-ray sales, as well as rentals, selling more than 8.6 million units and making it the best selling comedy ever on DVD and Blu-ray, beating the previous record held by My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
On January 17, 2010, The Hangover won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, beating out 500 Days of Summer.
It was also named one of the top ten movies of the year by the American Film Institute. The film won "Best Ensemble" from the Detroit Film Critics Society.http The screenplay was nominated for a Writers Guild of America and BAFTA award.
The score for the movie was composed by Christophe Beck. The movie featured around 20 songs, consisting of music by Kanye West, Dyslexic Speedreaders, Danzig, The Donnas, Usher, Phil Collins, The Belle Stars, T.I., Wolfmother and The Dan Band, who tend to feature in Todd Phillips movies as the inappropriate, bad-mouthed wedding band. The Dan Band also has a version of the 50 Cent hit single "Candy Shop". "Right Round" by Flo Rida is played over the closing credits. at
The film uses the Kanye West song "Can't Tell Me Nothing" for which Zach Galifianakis made an alternative music video.
; Additional songs
* "Who Let the Dogs Out?" - Baha Men
* "Right Round" - Flo Rida
* "Can't Tell Me Nothing" - Kanye West
* "Live Your Life" - T.I. featuring Rihanna
* "Joker & the Thief" - Wolfmother
* "What Do You Say" - Mickey Avalon
* "Yeah!" - Usher feat. Ludacris and Lil Jon
Warner Bros. committed to a sequel even before the film went on general release.
Variety later reported in July 2009, that production on The Hangover 2 will begin in October 2009, for a fourth of July weekend 2010 release, following the same production schedule used for the first film.
Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Heather Graham and Justin Bartha have all signed on for the sequel.
Director Todd Phillips dismissed rumors that Zac Efron would star in The Hangover 2. Justin Bartha said he'd welcome Efron “If it gets people in the seats," adding that he would also welcome the whole male cast of Twilight and Will Smith, too. Actor Ed Helms admits Efron would be a welcome addition to the cast, commenting, "I love that guy. He's actually really funny".
In December 2009, it was rumoured that the sequel is going to take place in Thailand. This information comes from sources very close to the project.
On June 20, 2010, when accepting the Guy Movie of the Year award on the Spike Guys Choice Awards, Producer Todd Phillips announced that there will be a Hangover 2.
ReferencesThis text has been derived from The Hangover (film) on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0