What’s so funny about The Hangover?

10 June, 2009

Seriously. I’m genuinely scratching my head over this. I sat for 90 minutes in a reasonably crowded cinema full of moviegoers howling like hyenas from start to finish while I was only able to muster up a single, audible laugh. The film has a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and several of my friends — intelligent people whose judgment I respect very much — have been raving about it since its release. Question: Is it just me?

Firstly, the film features some of the most uninteresting characters I have ever encountered. The groom-to-be has the personality of a swimming pool in a retirement home and his bride-to-be isn’t much better. Meanwhile, his friends consist of an uptight nerd who is afraid of his domineering wife, a fat guy who for some reason has the mental capacity of a peanut, and an unlikable alpha male who puts everyone and everything down for the sake of it. Nothing about them is endearing, nothing about them is unique, and therefore the odds of me giving half a damn about their plight are quite simply non-existent.

All the best gags are in the trailer, and really, that’s not saying very much. There’s a tiger in the bathroom. Uh-oh! There’s a strange baby in the room. Uh-oh! The fat guy bumped the baby’s head on the car door. Uh-oh! The biggest selling point in the marketing is the fact that Mike Tyson has a cameo and demonstrates that he is a terrible singer. I can see that for free on YouTube and it won’t take up 90 minutes of my life:

Ultimately, The Hangover is just a bunch of crude gags strung together in place of an actual story. It’s yet another film in which grown-ups act like teenage nitwits while Todd Phillips struggles to execute even the simplest of punch-lines effectively. To be fair, it doesn’t help when the screenplay resorts to tasteless jokes about an Asian gangster who is also a screaming queen. I wonder if the critics would give the film a pass if he were black.

Throughout the film, three other pictures kept running through my head: Mike Figgis’ Leaving Las Vegas, Martin Scorsese’s Casino, and Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. All three are quoted at least once in The Hangover, and all three have one other thing in common: They all hate Vegas. Yet Todd Phillips is still holding onto that infantile, adolescent belief that Las Vegas is Disneyland for adults as opposed to the leading candidate for the 10th Circle of Hell. In the end, that’s what bothered me so much about The Hangover.  Only in a film this stupid would the nerdy character meet up with Heather Graham playing the hooker with a heart of gold with a happily-ever-after conclusion looming over the subplot like a dark cloud. What’s next? A Judd Apatow romantic-comedy about New York in the 1970s and how much fun all that social unrest and depravity was?

Finally, Zach Gafilianakis is not that funny. At best, he’s a mildly amusing bur rather forgettable fat guy, and at worst, he is the kind of comedian who injects every line reading with that, “Look at me I’m supposed to be funny!” sort of obnoxiousness. He just happens to be subtle about it, which is why everyone has fallen in love with him. But the Asian gay stereotype basically sums him, and the rest of the movie up: “It’s funny because it’s fat.”

Yawn.

84 Responses to “What’s so funny about The Hangover?”

  1. I feel sorry for you.. said

    Your a fag dude.. the movie was awesome the reason you probably dont like it because youve never hanged out with men in your 20’s you just dont understand and I feel sorry for you because that was one of the funniest movies ive seen in a long time!

    • Y0UF41L said

      Um…no, it was just a very boring, predictable movie. The comedy was stale and very much re-hashed. I like Cooper, Helms, and Galifinakis, but the Hangover just wasn’t funny…
      …I’m sorry, but you just don’t have a true appreciation of legitimate comedy.

    • freeedd said

      Learn how to spell, moron.

      “Your a fag” really? lol.
      “Youve never hanged out” honestly? lol.

  2. Well, you’re just an idiot.

  3. alex vargas said

    totally agree bro its mind boggling to me how people thought it was so funny, it really wasn’t, there are so many movies that are funnier way more movies, i only laughed at the mike tyson part, and it was barely a chuckle, i also saw the movie alone on a bootleg, many people in theaters get influenced to laugh when they see others laughing, thats why i hate seeing comedies in theaters, all my friends hyped this movie to be amazing, it was ok, but i would never watch it again

  4. John Dangleberry said

    dude, your a fucking LOSER. you fucking waste of life spick faggot fuck. fuck you and your family you fucking homo shit bag fuck face

    • Cody Carson said

      You know what John Dangleberry Shut the fck up. THIS MOVIE WASNT FUNNY AT ALL. I ask people what was funny about this movie and they say the Chinese guy jumped out of the trunk naked. THATS ALL I GET FROM EVERYONE. THE HANGOVER WASNT FUNNY AT ALL!!!! People have no humor these days and start laughing at cussing and dirty stuff. wtf?? Cursing a lot and doing dirty stuff doesnt make me laugh. You people are really retarded and are scrwed up in the head because this movie didnt hav e one part where i smiled or laughed

  5. Maurice said

    That movie was (HUMORIOUS) not funny..I guess it funny if your just seen that movie. Wasted time!

  6. LH said

    Dude.. i totally fucking agree with you! What’s laughable is how funny people find this bs. It’s so UNfunny, I kinda chuckled like once. Glad I waited til it got to the redbox AND used a free promo code for it. Another typical modern UNfunny “comedy”.

    • Dude, you know what’s laughable is that I can tuck my balls in between my legs and my balls are still noticeabley bigger than yours…..lol

      • Drew said

        haha… i didn’t find the Hangover funny, but of everything i’ve read you made me lawl.

        I bet the people that liked the Hangover also liked Step Brothers… These sorts of movies make me embarrassed to watch, not because i can or can’t relate but because i feel for whoever finds it funny, or whoever wrote it, directed it, and then had to act it…

        I guess it’s like a stoner movie, stoners find them funny as they can relate to the situations (and the memories). But i’ve been drunk before and done stupid things yet why couldn’t I relate to this?

        Do i actually have to have been to Vegas to understand…? No, i just think it wasn’t funny, lame. B-grade comedy at best.

        Tropic Thunder was funny, that was crude in some parts but at least it was done well. I was on mushrooms though and I have to admit the first 20 minutes were pretty scary… I may have actually dribbled in my pants a bit…

        They used to call me ploppy pants at school.

      • Bob said

        To the guy under me whom i cant respond to directly TROPIC THUNDER SUCKED and so did this.

  7. superpie said

    Yeah, it’s understandable if you don’t like it. It’s crude humor, but if you take every point and follow it up with “uh-oh!” or “ha-ha.” in any comedy, it will tend to look bad. The Numa Numa viral for instance, a guy sings enthusiastically on webcam. Ha-ha.

  8. Jimmy said

    Ok, it’s clear that you went into this movie with a pessimistic attitude. You didn’t even pay attention to the damn movie. For instance Stu isn’t afraid of his domineering wife because she isn’t his wife. That was a major part of his character. Also, Phil is not a character who puts everyone down, he spends half of the movie telling Stu everything is going to be ok. And finally, who the hell cares that doug and his fiance aren’t interesting, they’re barely in the damn movie at all. Seriously, if you’re going to rant and bitch about movies, you should really watch them and pay attention first.

  9. Noah said

    All that proves is that the movie is so boring and uninvolving that I couldn’t care less about getting those plot details right. As for Doug not being interesting, why the hell should I care about him going missing if I don’t care about him or his fiancee at all? That’s bad storytelling. That’s a film that has been constructed as a series of comedy set-pieces in search of a story.

  10. Kniel Shankman said

    Oh my god I seriously thought I was the only one who didn’t find this movie funny at all. Sure the idea of is funny, sure it had a lot of potential, but the execution is just awful. The punch-lines seem to just fall on their faces due to bad writing and poor performance. Everything became just too random and stupid, and yes, while that can be funny sometimes, it just doesn’t work here. I’ve seen a lot of people like the “I feel sorry for you” guy up there and they either have a really primitive sense of humor or they simply bought into the hype of the movie and have created an illusion that it’s funny. Or they’re just in denial. It makes me sad to see that this is what comedy has come to.

  11. mattknowsitalllistentohimnow said

    I agree completely! The Hangover sucked, and andybody who gets mad at someone pointing out it sucked, is wrong for that and wrong for liking the movie to begin with. Why is it funny that kids are tasing them? It’s not and neither is 95% of the rest of the movie.

  12. Maddie said

    I thought I was the only one. I’m afraid to say it out loud on account of I might get stabbed in my eye if I say anything about this “oh so funny movie.”
    Not even a little funny. What a disappointment :(

  13. paige said

    omigod i possitively loved the hangover. i can see were you come from (a bit) there was some crude humor, and some of the humor was just random silliness that people laugh about, incling me.

  14. Sean said

    You can tell the maturity level of SOME of the people who did like the film based on some of the negative remarks you have received. Bottom line is, this was a movie made for fratboy a$$holes who have never picked up a book, and were probably knocking back bottles of beer since birth. The Hangover sucked ass! And jesus, stop using “faggot” as a cut down! Just because you haven’t accepted the fact that you enjoy taking it up the ass from your fraternity brothers doesn’t give you the right to put everyone esle with an opinion down by calling them that. This moview deserved a razzie win in every category, cuz that’s what the razzie’s are for; awful AWFUL films. Strike two for Bradley Cooper, and Zack Galifianakis needs to go somewhere and sit down because he’s not funny. His antics might be amusing on say, youtube, but it’s not for the big screen. Lemon OUT!

  15. Christopherson said

    I agree. I had high hopes for this movie and was highly disappointed when i saw it. I cant figure out why it has such good reviews.

  16. sean said

    I agree it was not really funny it was kinda lame

  17. Matt said

    I was incredibly annoyed that I missed this at the cinemas, especially as everyone I knew simply couldn’t resist posting a facebook status update about how nothing had ever hit their funny bone as much as “The Hangover”…

    However, having found it on itunes, I can sefely say that the many hours I spent waiting for it to download were the best moments was the highlight of that day, because it turns out that a lot of my friends may need to see a Doctor (an actual one, not a dentist…. See what I did there, I recycled a tired old line which has appeared in practically all sitcoms and one lame film… So, can I have a job as a comedy writer?), because this film didn’t hit a funny bone… It didn’t even verge towards the humerus… I did feel a slight pain in the bum, however..

    Many a modern “comedic” effort scores big with broken systems like “rotten-tomatoes”, is warmly praised by those around me and then lavished with awards at glistening ceremonies, while I’m left scratching my head and wondering whether I’m just too stupid to understand the jokes…

    However, then I realised something… I’m not stupid, I’m just a bit of a movie snob. I remember the first time I watched Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian” and their “Holy Grail”. I was eight and I cackled with laughter with my father was we watched the grainy videos… Now I’m 20 and, having seen said films a number of times, I’ve come to understand the genius social commentary that is the foundation upon which the hilarious outer-shell was created.

    Films like “Borat” and “The Hangover”, to me, are incredibly indicitive of an age of the decline in invention across the board. They rely on cheap laughs, in your face attitudes, a stupid main character, horrendous stereotypes and naked chaps grappling… It seems that in order to create a hit, simply smashing a combination of these things into one and a half hours is necessary, whether they make sense or not. It seems that this is what Hollywood thinks of us… And let’s face it, they can’t be wrong if you’ve got so many intelligent, well-educated, (master)debators running you down for having an opinion which differs from theirs…

    We’ve seen a similar thing in the “world” of music, whereby singing ability, tune and often lyrics have been taken hostage by thumping techno beats and flashing green laser lights…
    I’m not entirely sure what it’s like in America with regards to “American Idol”, but on the British verios, the “X-Factor”, we always end up with ten people on stage, singing classic songs from by-gone eras… Eventually(more like eeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvveeeeeennnnnntuuuuuaaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyyy), this is whittled to one, to proceeds to have one hit through singing a song from such an era…
    And then we don’t here from them again, because they get lost in the crowd of ok singers whose sound is put through so many machines that they end up crackling away like they’ve spoken into a voice-synthesizer, over some headache inducing pulse (I refuse to call it music)…

    My point is, I agree with everything you said. Furthermore, I suggest that anyone who still remembers what it’s like to feel more connected with and engaged by a film, as oppose to the passing fling a cinema trip has become, I beg you, reach into the “classics” bin (whether online or in a shop)… You won’t ever be disappointed…

    • nobody wants to read your books nancy….

      • Drew said

        I would read his books. Oh but that’s only because i’m sooooooooo, like, totally gay. No seriously, love a bit of cock once in a while.

        Josh, given you seem to be keeping up with this thread and defending your honour perhaps you’ll find this article arousing…

        Here is a snippet.

        A possible explanation is found in various psychoanalytic theories, which have generally explained homophobia as a threat to an individual’s own homosexual impulses causing repression, denial, or reaction formation (or all three; West, 1977). Generally, these varied explanations conceive of homophobia as one type of latent homosexuality where persons either are unaware of or deny their homosexual urges.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latent_homosexuality

        Good luck with your new sexuality. I would love to call you a faggot but that would be offensive so I won’t.

  18. Sean said

    “The Hangover” sucks!!!! What’s the difference between this and “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

    To me, they are basically the same story following some teenage acting boys around after a night of fun.

  19. I don’t think these guy movies are funny either….I agree with these other gay guys. This movie is totally too manly for me and I would much rather watch 27 dresses=-)
    I never get what’s funny when my heterosexual friends laugh…?
    Maybe it’s because I’d rather watch To Wong Fu=-)

    To make this long story short, If you’re gay like me then you’re not going to love this movie…kiss kiss!

  20. I just looked at the movie & I loved it……..

  21. wrong movie….it was “bendover” I loved this one;-)

  22. anybody want to be part of my wolfpack?

  23. okay I admit it………
    Y0UF41L
    alex vargas
    Cody Carson
    Maurice
    LH
    Noah
    Kniel Shankman
    mattknowsitalllistentohimnow
    Maddie
    Sean
    Christopherson
    Matt
    are all me…. ha ha ha ha!

  24. Damn you niggas is stupid said

    The movie was over hyped, it had MAYBE one good line in it, which was ‘Tudalu, mutha fucka’ other than that, I could get the same comedy from my friends, and not waste 10 dollars on it. It has gay jokes, penis size jokes, and over all, it’s just what you’d expect from an insecure guy with big muscles (and a small cock, like Joshua Wilson) who is more than likely a 12 year old who is sitting on his fat ass and defending a movie that his stupid, pre-pubesant mind thinks is funny. Reading your stupid ass comments is proof enough of that. Oh, a gay joke, that’s funny, oh, dick joke, that’s funny. No, it’s fucking donkey dick, just like the movie. You’ve wasted your goddamned useless life on a website bitching about how great you think is piece of shit was, thank you, good night, and go suck your mothers fat cock. that will be fuckin all :D

  25. owen said

    the hangover was one of the worst movies i have ever seen. my gf at the time and i would’ve walked out of the theater halfway into it if our tickets hadn’t been so expensive!

    other unfunny comedies include: anchorman, talladega nights, and step brothers. chances are, if you enjoy these kinds of movies, you’re either 13 years old or you’re in a fraternity.

    • owen said

      actually, step brothers did have ONE funny part – when ferrel and the other guy dress up as a nazi and a KKK member to scare off the potential homebuyers.

  26. i have so many funny bones in myself that is why i would love to be a comedian ;;~

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  28. Beef Curry said

    I just saw this movie, after all the hype of people talking it up, it didn’t live up to the amount of hype it got. There was no much true comedy in the movie, a lot of crude, dumbed down humor. Nothing clever or witty.

    Most of the one liners fell flat and felt embarrassed for the actors. The Chinese part of the movie was ridiculous in a bad way, felt embarrassed to watch such a infantile picture.

    It is pretty sad when most people find this funny, shows the lack of intelligence in our population. Real humor takes smarts and wit to put together, this movie doesn’t have it.

  29. Chris said

    I unfortunately had the misfortune to sit through about the first half hour of this “awesome” movie. I sat on the persons couch petting their dog instead. Meanwhile, the two other people there thought it was hilarious. I’m 22 years old, they were both 16. I didn’t find any of it to be funny. It’s lame as hell. It seems to cater to the younger crowd, who love partying and getting wasted. If I really wanted to hear lame jokes and repeated F-bombs, I’d go to my 18 year old low life cousin. It seems like it was written by a bunch of teenagers. Well, what adults of “Generation X” don’t act like teenagers? To be honest, this film was horrible, but so are most of the films released around 2000 or after. And this piece of garbage is getting a sequel. So I get to hear all about how “great” it was in the foreseeable future. Bash me all you want, if you enjoyed this movie, you’re the ones with no taste that like crappy acting, more then likely hate old movies (and old stuff in general), show your lack of intelligence (like Beef Curry said) and are most likely carbon copies of all of your friends. I hate being a part of this generation. I’m expected to like The Hangover, rap music, new stuff, partying, drinking, getting high, whatever else a majority of this generation does. Maybe one day everyone will look back and realize just how horrible of a movie this was and also realize how horrible this new generation is.

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  31. Kara said

    Yeah..I agree with you too. I thought the movie was funny, in some ways, but overall, the plot of the story was..uh, not very amusing. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that I’m not a party-person..lol. Maybe this movie is intended for mature adults. Lol..but, oh well, I guess other people liked it!

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  33. myles said

    I have to agree. my friends all went to see it while i was out with my girl, and they told me it was fucking hilarious. i watched it, and it was “ok” at best. the only funny parts were with the asain guy.

  34. Will said

    I dont watch many movies, but when I do I have to know whether or not I am wasting my time. I was never interested in watching the Hangover, yet everyone around me claimed it will be the best thing I will ever watch. After months of arguments and nagging, I decided to watch it with a friend who had also not seen it. About half way through the movie, I realize that the plot has gone nowhere. I then realize that I also havent laughed. I then became aggravated and bored, as if someone was forcing me to watch it. I then asked my friend if we could do something else, and he replied sure, this movie doesnt make sense. I then started noticing that the only people who claimed this movie was amazing, were childish wannabes who dont know elvis from cher. I will not ever watch the hangover part 2, and Galifinakas is not funny.

  35. It wasn’t funny, and i have a south park/tim and eric type sense of humor. As soon as the fake tiger puppet showed it’s face, i stopped watching, i love zak G, i think he’s really funny, but this movie just didn’t do it for me, it’s just a revamp of “Dude Wheres My Car”, maybe if i was a teen again i would have liked it, but its just 3 guys screaming and yelling the whole time with random wacky situations thrown in.

  36. Asad said

    I’m confused why people who insult you for giving your opinion. Baffles me. Anyway I laughed a bit throughout the movie but I agree with you, I don’t understand why it’s the level of “funny” my friends say it is.

  37. A Person said

    Okay, seriously why is that everyone who didn’t like this movie is presumed to be gay? It’s very silly if you ask me. If they didn’t think it was funny then it wasn’t funny. I am going to watch it and respond once I have, but to be honest I can’t understand what can be so funny about a bunch of typical immature males meeting hookers and running off to Vegas. :| Sounds like another film filled with men acting stupid and doing things that they obviously shouldn’t be doing. But hey, that’s life most of the time so we’ll see how this turns out.

  38. A Person said

    Saw it. Both one and two… wasn’t very funny. Pretty much what I expected, a bunch of silly men doing silly things and getting in trouble for it… well not really trouble, but they had to find a way to try and set things right.

  39. My friends (and everyone else it seems) go on about how halarious this movie is like it’s the comedy of the decade… I had a few light chuckles here and there but that was it. But in saying that, most comedies aren’t even That funny, pretty much just sexual innuendo. At least this movie made me laugh lightly a few times, I just don’t understand how this movie can be That overrated.

  40. You lost me, friend. I mean, I imagine I get what youre indicating. I have an understanding of what you’re saying, but you just appear to have forgotten that you will find some other persons in the world who view this issue for what it really is and may well not agree with you. You may possibly be turning away a lot of folks who may have been lovers of your blog.

  41. Tttkeegs said

    hugh jackman a steady rain,

  42. Eddie said

    I agree. My girlfriend and I just rented this movie over the weekend. This was high school toilet humor coming from grown men. The “humor” was extremely cliche, obvious and dated. Most of the acting was sub par, but I suppose the actors only have so much to work with when the writing is so terrible. I give this movie a D+

  43. Nabeil said

    Yeah it was alrite but extremely overrated. Their making it seem like it was legendary lol I kinda feel bad for this generations movie goers. The horror movies, the sequels, they just aren’t as creative anymore. These fools laugh at anything and kinda force the issue.

  44. sandman said

    terrible movie, it seemed they made up each scene as they went along. i guess it was slapstick humor as there was nothing funny about the dialogue.
    also just saw horrible bosses, laughed alot during that 90 minutes, much better film.
    won’t bother with hangover 2

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  48. pat maher said

    totally unfunny. period. All of the characters are completely unlikable. This movie looks like it was written in 10 minutes.

  49. ... said

    Really I hate how all of you just say “Only teens like this” Well guess what I am 15 and I found nothing funny about it, so stop saying only teens like this because it shows lack of intellegence. You could just say that Only non-mature people like this

  50. caferaider said

    luckily I didn’t have to go to theather to watch this, otherwise I’ll be pissed and want my money back, I believed the hype, I was patiently waiting for the funny moments, it didn’t happen

  51. Hunter said

    To me, this movie is entertaining but not super funny. Of course I lauphed a few times but It didn’t blow me away or anything. These movies are just fun to watch.

  52. yhfkuhfhrufr said

    For all the hype- i have to say i didnt laugh once- ok maybe a snigger but it was like a very bad remake of dude where’s my car?
    terrible jokes, terrible acting and a collection of the worst MOR hiphop i ever heard- the fact this film is even considered watchable makes me fear for my species as a whole…
    seriously the human race is truly fucked if this shit is even considered amusing…

  53. matt said

    this movie is quite simply for people who dot know when to laugh, and need to be told when to laugh, I watched the first 45mins of this movie, and i actually got angry at how un-funny it was. btw jashua jame buttfuck you like the hang over because thats what you imagine dudes hanging together would be like, because you’re a loner who never had any freinds, so to you the hangover lets you pretend like you understand comrodery

  54. Neil Redditch said

    To think they have made two sequels to this shows that the human race is dumb.

  55. Kevin said

    it’s unimaginative and dumb.
    Seriously, I’m generally an immature guy who loves to laugh at stupid things, Anchorman, Nacho Libre, Pick of destiny..
    But these movies are just over-rate by all the “bros” out there.

    If you seen enough tv/cinema you’ll realize all the jokes have been done before(usually way better too).
    The Hangover is also a huge rip off from The Simpsons Vegas episode

  56. Brian said

    Finally, a post that makes me feel not so alone in my disliking of this movie! Seriously, WTS! Why do people like this movie so much? It actually disturbs me, like something’s seriously deeply wrong in our culture. There’s a tiger in the bathroom, uh oh!

  57. jim said

    i watched it for the second time last night. actually was looking forward to it because i assumed i must have been in a bad mood the first time i watched it, cause everyone afterwards was raving about it. holy cow, same thing. its a sad reflection on present day society that this shit passes as a funny movie.

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