This weekend, about two weeks behind the rest of America, I finally saw "The Hangover". The buzz for this movie was so huge, I went in with extremely low expectations. Bromance movies are a bit hit or miss. Although I loved "Old School", "Wedding Crashers", and "I Love You, Man", there have been several movies in that same genre that have left me wanting my money back.
"The Hangover" not only met my expectations, it surpassed them. Let's begin with one of the stars of the movie - Bradley Cooper. Bradley is officially my personal breakout star of 2009. First, he turned up the sex appeal in "He's Just Not That Into You" as he had a secret, steamy affair with Scarlett Johansson, and now, he takes on Vegas in the black on black wardrobe combo (black shirt, black suit) leaving women across America pining. His sex appeal oozed off the screen and towards our seats.
The movie also stars Ed Helms (a.k.a. Andy from "The Office") who plays a similar character in this movie as he does in his sitcom - a man who is a bit of nerd, gets walked on by his girlfriend, and has a not-so-secret love for song. Did you enjoy his impromptu piano number in the Vegas hotel suite? It was almost as good as his a capella re-enactments on "The Office".
The biggest surprise of the movie was Zach Galifianakis, a virtual unknown who plays the bride's brother. His one liners deliver side splitting laughs and his kinship with an abandoned baby (who he names Carlos) is adorable and hysterical.
Other high notes including a cameo from Heather Graham (who has pretty much solidified her role as paid eye candy), a beautiful wedding ceremony, reception and dress envied by every girl in the audience, and a fantastic soundtrack including Kanye West, Rihanna, and of course, Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out".
During the final moments of the movie, on the left side of the screen photos from the bachelor party pop up alongside the list of cast and crew. This is one of the best parts of the entire movie, and has you leaving the theater smiling and laughing.
Thank you, "The Hangover", for not overdoing the Vegas cliches, for keeping us guessing and howling in laughter, and for 90 minutes of Bradley Cooper.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner.