This is the year’s best comedy by a long shot. I can’t imagine anything coming out after this that could beat it. The story deals with four friends, Doug Phil Stu and Adam, going to the wedding on one of their own, Doug. After the wildest night of their lives in Las Vegas, they wake up with the worst hangover of their lives, and even worse, their friend Doug has disappeared. And so begins their adventure, as they search for Doug and get into all sorts of craziness. I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed this film, since I expected to watch another comedy about someone getting married, but far from it. What makes it work is it’s great cast. Bradley Cooper (from Alias and Midnight Meat Train) plays Phil, the ‘everyman’ who just loves to party and leader of our main trio. He’s good-looking but surprisingly believable. Ed Helms, who I had previously seen only in The Daily Show, is great in his role. He plays Stu, who’s a nervous wreck and ridiculously whipped by his girlfriend, and frustrated by the fact that he’s only a dentist. It all turns to shit for him when he marries a stripper (Heather Graham in a small but memorable role) while intoxicated.
But it’s Zach Galifianakis who steals the show as Stu, a lonely but friendly ‘dude’ who initiates the night of chaos to begin with. He has the best lines and is featured in the best scenes of physical comedy, such as when he receives a punch from Mike Tyson, or when he gets electrocuted by a stun gun to the brain. His ‘gambling’ shtick is awesome as well. I’ve been a fan of his since I first saw him on a stand-up special on Comedy Central, and I wish he had singed a song like he does in his stand-up.
This picture was directed by Todd Phillips, a former underground documentary filmmaker who made the film Hated! With GG Allin and the Murder Junkies and the college documentary Frat House, before becoming a Hollywood player with Road Trip, Old School and Starsky & Hutch. After Hated, this is his best film, and I’m counting the days till the sequel comes out.