The stinging red eyes. The thudding headache. The sore muscles and painful memories of a white out. Crazy things happened the night of the bachelor party, but nothing could have prepared them for The Hangover. In this new Warner Brothers comedy, esteemed director Todd Phillips takes us deep inside that "other" wedding party tradition. The one that leaves you slumped in a corner or sprawled out on the floor, barfing yesterday's drink special into the toilet. The dayafter is supposed to be about regaining self-control and full body relaxation. But not for these three friends that have lost their groom to be.
With The Hangover, Phillips has created a labyrinthine joke structure that tips like a stack of dominos. Every laugh is directly tied into another, bigger set piece. And the whole thing hinges on the unexpected. It's a surprise laden trap of hilarity that will pull you to the floor and have you heaving hearty guffaws onto the soda sticky tile of your nearby Cineplex. Because of that, we can't tell you very much about the film's plot. Seriously, this thing is being guarded with super tight control. Its basically the Fort Knox of R rated buffoonery. You're more likely to get spoilers from the set of J.J. Abrams Star Trek. And that's no small exaggeration.
What can we tell you? Well, the film stars the hilarious and edgy cult comedian Zach Galifianakis in a lead role. He is joined by Ed Helms, best known for his stint as Andy Bernard on the The Office, and hot man of the moment Bradley Cooper. These three friends lose their groom, played by National Treasure's Justin Bartha, amidst the drunken outrageous debauchery of his bachelor party. They are forced to spend the next day retracing their steps and searching for their fallen comrade. It could be considered a much worthy sequel to the Tom Hanks 1984 comedy Bachelor Party and it shares a similar sense of eloquent style with Keanu Reeves' The Night Before.
Last week, we were invited into the film's stronghold and base, otherwise known as Caesar's Palace, for a sneak peak at the behind the scenes making of the film. The folks at Caesar's Palace were extremely gracious, offering us up some of the most beautiful rooms on the strip, not to mention all of the luxurious amenities one could ever hope for or need. Yet, the free booze almost seemed like a plow to get us into the proper mindset for a film entitled The Hangover. While I can't tell you too much about what we saw during the filming of two very different scenes, I can tell you that the restaurants inside of Caesar's Palace offers up some of the best food found in Las Vegas. We were treated to a poker tournament, copious amounts of Scotch, and a couple of winning hands at Blackjack. So, as you can imagine, making it to the set the very next day was a challenge. But a winning one at that, as it put us right into the very head space of these troubled characters and their Hangover dilemma. Forget Imax, 3D, and Panorama Scope, this was indeed the real thing.
While standing in the Courtyard of Caesar's Palace, we were allowed to watch a couple of moments from the film. And I can honestly say, I have never laughed as hard at something that was happening on set, right there in front of me, in person. Usually the joke grows stale through repetition before it even has a chance to shock and surprise on screen. But there was a truly unique and hilarious bit of interaction between Ed Helms, Zack Galifianakis, and a secret guest star that nailed home a hearty laugh every single time in played out from nearly everyone on the crew. Most of the individuals involved found it impossible to remain straight faced. Ed Helms, in particular, just couldn't keep it together. Is it giving anything away to say it involves a pair of Blublocker sunglasses? I hope not. But trust me, this is some funny shiz-nit! And when it finally gets released, you will definitely get your funny's worth for fourteen bucks a ticket.
In the coming months, we will have a full set visit report featuring interviews with the entire cast. Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms, Zack Galifianakis, and director Todd Phillips were all gracious enough to grant us time in their presence. And you won't want to miss Zack's very funny story about the Mariah Carey/Nick Cannon Vegas strip birthday party story from the night before. So, stay tuned, and hopefully, as the time gets closer and a trailer is released, we can tell you more about this great comedy in the making.
The Hangover is set for release sometime in 2009.