What really happened in Vegas?

2009-06-22 00:00

THE morning after the night before, that awful moment when you realise you behaved very stupidly and are now paying a heavy price, is familiar to many. Add to this the odd male custom of taking a groom out for one last night of freedom just before his wedding and you have a recipe for a comedy of consequences.

The Hangover sets all this in Las Vega­s, America’s capital of excess. The idea that one might do something there to regret later is not a movie construct, remember Britney’s hastily annulled Vegas quickie?

Anyway, here Doug (Justin Bartha) is about to wed when he is taken to Vegas by his two best mates, laidback teacher Phil (Bradley Cooper) and henpecked dentist Stu (Ed Helms). He feels obliged to invite his fiancée’s misfit brother Alan (Zach Galifianakis), who is touchingly grateful to be included, but lacks the social skills needed.

And it is Alan who sets the whole disaster in motion. The guys start the evening with a toast on the roof of their hotel, and when they wake up it is in a totally trashed suite, with a chicken wandering around, a tiger in the bathroom — and no Doug.

On top of headaches, nausea and in Stu’s case, a missing tooth, they have to figure out what happened.

Turns out, more happened than happens to most people in a lifetime of lost weekends, and over the course of their detective work, the guys get into ever more hilarious scrapes.

And this is one of the few recent comedies that had the audience in stitches. The humour is a mixture of gross-out and clever lines, and while the characters are pretty flat, they are a well-mixed bunch. The messes these guys have got to untangle (including a run-in with Mike Tyson) are really very funny, even if some of the time you think you shouldn’t be laughing.

Hollywood has found a product, the bromance, which has a while to run. Luckily, some are pretty funny.

And what did happen in Vegas? You have to stay until the credits to find out.

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