Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hangover-Rated?


There are lots of reasons why I didn’t want to see The Hangover. First, it’s been lauded as one of the best comedies in years and I was worried that the film would not live up to its hype – films rarely do. I was also worried that the hype was generated purely by the hoi polloi who tend to laugh at anything – you know who you are – thus, that there was really nothing worth hyping in the first place. I was also worried that like Wedding Crashers – to which The Hangover has been compared – the film would rely on gross situational gags in lieu of originality, clever writing, or inspired performances. Bizarrely and perplexingly, this film does derive much of its humor from crude and lewd gags, but somehow still manages not to fall short of its lofty hype.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the best film ever. It isn’t profound or genius, nor will it change your outlook on life. But then again, it isn’t trying to. And what it is trying to do – tell a simple story in a hilarious way – is done exceedingly well. The premise is easy and you probably know it already: three men go to Las Vegas for their friend’s bachelor party. The only problem is, upon waking up (predictably hungover) after a night of wild debauchery - including a tiger, a baby, and a naked Chinese man - that none of them can remember, the groom is missing. The rest of the film is a loosely constructed mystery complete with clues in which the men try to piece together the events of their blacked out evening in an effort to locate their lost friend.

Both explicitly and in terms of its structure the film advocates that “it’s not where you’re going, it’s how you get there.” The film’s end goal of finding the groom is entirely secondary to the fun that is experienced along the way. The film is akin to many “roadtrip” films like Harold and Kumar in that the characters are propelled through a loose narrative via a series of relatively unconnected but entirely enjoyable episodes with an end goal that is really just a MacGuffin. However, while so many films of this nature can be poorly constructed and tiring, The Hangover is tightly written, well edited and the pace never lags.

Also, though the film has so many examples of crude humor and un-PC scenarios that it makes Wedding Crashers look like the clich├ęd, essentially G-rated, by-the-book family film that it really is, The Hangover is still inexplicably pretty charming. I think the film manages to be both raunchy and endearing because it doesn’t use these gags merely to cover up for a weak plot or sub par acting. Instead, the film succeeds in part because of these jokes but also by it’s clever construction and excellent performances. All three of the male leads are superbly portrayed and strangely likeable despite their idiocy. I must say, in particular Ed Helms really stands out – he’s my favorite character in the American version of The Office and he’s great here as the dorkily uptight and domesticated dentist. I feel like this guy’s going to become the next big comic actor, you wait and see. Zak Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper are also excellent and the supporting cast is great as well.

Best Thing Zac Efron has Ever Done


Check out the hilarity!

Update:
P.S. I'm a little weirded out/pleased that my website has now been linked on some sort of Zac Efron aggregator twitter fan site. Efron-ites, feel welcome, I'm not really a Zac hater or anything, just FYI. I may have to start posting more inadvertent, vague, tangential references to Zac just to garner more hits. Thanks Effron-ites!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Days of Swine and Roses


Since that dismal week in which 30 Rock, The Office, Lost and Survivor all ended en masse, followed shortly by the demise of The Hills and Gossip Girl, there is really only one show that I’m currently following (as I can’t find episodes of Top Chef: Masters online yet!), and that’s The Bachelorette.

On this go-round, it’s Jillian – last season of The Bachelor’s third runner-up – who is taking a stab at finding everlasting love. Now let’s not pretend that there’s ever been a fantastic or even half decent season of The Bachelor or Bachelorette, but this one is particularly sub par. The men this time are really juvenile and - as my title suggests - swine-like, and to exacerbate things, Jill seems to have especially poor taste in picking from this disappointing pool of seeming adolescents.

Also, and this is lobbing a blow pretty far below the belt, or rather, below the eyes – that’s right, this blow is landing right on Jillian’s oversized nose – but Jillian is simply not pretty enough to be believably leading around a pack of twenty some mild to moderate hotties. Ok, to be fair, Jillian is a cool enough girl; I would even consider having a drink with her, which is not something I would endure with just anyone. Jillian’s personality is fine, and in a perfect world maybe bunches of hotties would flock to an awkward looking girl with an above average personality. But – and do I even need to say this? – we don’t live in a perfect world and the men on this season are clearly not above shallow behavior. In fact, so many of them are petty and full of testosterone that it makes watching the show unbearable at times.

There are a few decent catches on the show, however, and one who has earned the Film Noix stamp of approval. This lucky gent is Reid – a 29 year-old realtor from Philadephia.

I know, he sounds like a snooze fest but he’s actually really cute (don't trust that abysmal picture, it was the best I could find) and seems to have a good sense of humor. He’s hands down the one I would pick. I actually would go so far as to venture that – if he is rejected by Jill and asked to be the next bachelor – I might finally make my long overdue reality TV debut by competing for his undying affection on the show. Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sorry (Again)!


Behold! I have emerged from my dormant cavern of blog silence, stiff and sore from what must seem to you like eons of literary hibernation. Indeed, it’s been nigh two months since I put fingers to keyboard and enlightened you with some exquisite insight from the rich and limitless stock of my imagination. And before you berate me with your grievances due to my prolonged and unexplained absence – I can only guess how hard it must have been for you to cope in lieu of my heretofore semi-frequent updates – let me just say that I’m sorry. In an attempt to win you back into my favor, I’ll share with you one of the things that has been eating up an enormous chunk of my time – granted it is only one facet of my infinitely busy life, but it is the one that I estimate will garner the most sympathy points.

Here she is: the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold, mommy’s little girl to have and hold. A precious gem, is what she is, and she’s mommy’s little girl. Ok, I’ll stop quoting lyrics and for once cut to the chase. I have a little kitty!

Technically, she’s not mine – she’s just my foster baby, but I’ve had her since she was a wee bottle baby and it’s been months now and I love her with all my heart. I’ve had other foster cats but they’ve all been adopted. While I’ve been sad to see them go, this one has been with me the longest and is quite simply, the most wonderful. I really hope no one wants to adopt her and that I get to keep her, even though I’m not sure this is such a good idea as I don’t think people should adopt cats unless they can guarantee a good home for the next twenty or so years. I also can’t come up with a name that is perfect enough for her – she’s too heavenly for any name to stick. Instead I just keep calling her Baby Angel Princess. I know this is cringe-worthy, but seriously, it fits her better than anything else that’s come to mind. Feast on these glamour shots you lucky bastards: