The Hangover

The story of a group of four friends going to Vegas for a bachelor’s party. When they wake up the next day, they don’t remember what happened and they can’t find the groom, who is due to his wedding in 24 hours. It’s a male juvenile comedy about immature guys getting in trouble and out of it. It’s theme is an affirmation of the much repeated cliché in the movie, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” In comparison with movies like Wedding Crashers, or Knocked Up, (also gross our comedies) which mock male immature juvenility and affirm taking responsibility, The Hangover celebrates it. Because they were inadvertently slipped Ruffies (the date rape drug that causes memory loss), the guys are not portrayed as being entirely responsible for all the wild, criminal and immoral things they did during the evening. Mike Tyson, the famous boxer criminal, is portrayed as cool, even heroic, especially when he slaps a high five for the guys stealing a cop car. The three friends receive their share of beatings from criminal types, but it is all portrayed as undeserving, since they “didn’t know what they were doing” on the drug. There are jokes of endangering a baby they have to carry along with them. There are ultimately no consequences for their behavior as they get back in time for the wedding, and the groom tells his bride at the ceremony that “as long as we are married, I will never do anything like this to you again.” But the final moment shows the guys looking over pictures they took on a newly discovered camera of their night, all acting as if their orgy of debauchery was just good fun to be hidden in the memory. One of the guys, an uptight emasculated man, engaged to a controlling female monster hypocrite gets up the courage to take charge of his life and break his engagement because of his experience in unwittingly marrying a stripper/prostitute (while on the drug). He then decides to go back to take the prostitute out for dinner, because she is portrayed as more authentic and fun-loving. This movie is not a morality tale about growing up, it is an affirmation of male stereotypes and a celebration of juvenility, immorality and immaturity.