Ep. 46: The Hangover

Lucy and Jenny have to drink just to get through talking about this turkey.

Get the podcast: [Listen here at PopD] | [Go to iTunes]

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 1 Pop ~ A schizophrenic movie with no structure, no consistency in character and too few charming, funny moments. There was a hint of a great story in there, but it never got off the ground.

Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 1, Comedy: 2, (B)Romance: 1

Jenny says: 2 Pops ~ Part of this were funny, parts of this were awful, it started in the wrong place and ended on a dumb note. It’s a Frankenstein plot, a bunch of miscellaneous parts from different writers stitched together in with the mantra “as long as it’s funny, nobody will notice there’s no protagonist or antagonist or pacing, just a lot of . . . parts.” Bleah.

Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 2, Comedy: 2, BRomance: 2

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Read the chat transcript here.

Movie Info:

Story: Three groomsmen go looking for the groom they lost during a drunken celebration.   Release Date: June 5, 2009  Writers: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore


36 responses to “Ep. 46: The Hangover”

  1. You love ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ but you hate ‘The Hangover’?! I really don’t understand that. ‘The Hangover’ is gross but funny in parts; ‘Hot Tub Time Machine ‘ is just gross. The only good thing about it is it’s name. Neither movie has sympathetic characters and they both treat women horribly; but at least there are parts of ‘The Hangover’ that make you laugh.

  2. You know what? I was expecting it to be a total stinker, but I didn’t hate it nearly as much as I was expecting. I hated Weekend at Bernie’s more. At the *very least*, it’s interesting finding out where the tiger came from, where the tooth came from, etc. Kind of a reverse detective show of random stupidity.

    That said, they still shouldn’t be making a second version of this, though….

  3. I actually kind of liked this movie, but I went in thinking I was going to hate it, so I suspect my incredibly low expectations played a role. It was much funnier than I thought it would be, and I gave it credit for that. The podcast actually reminded me a lot of my reaction to Due Date, which has moments that really repulse me. I think my main problem here is that my taste just does not run to this genre.

  4. I agree with most of what you said, but not quite everything. I thought about it, and, while time jumps can be awful, I’m glad I got to see why Alan (bride’s brother) was included in the bachelor party. I think I needed to see why the car was so special, and the sheer size of the wedding. It added some weight to the worry the guys had over losing Doug. If the movie had begun at the waking up point, I’m not sure how that would have been conveyed verbally. I’d never have given the bride a thought if I hadn’t been introduced to her early on. Better writing would have made a difference, but I’m not sure verbal references to these things would have cut it for me. It’s a pretty cheap set-up, but I think it worked for most of the viewing audience. The movie’s a situation comedy and I don’t think it aspires to be more than that, although, after listening to the podcast, I can certainly see how it could have been hugely improved.

    Now, the characters – Melissa is loathsome and maybe whoever wrote her part is misogynistic, but I think she has to be over-drawn to get across Stu’s lack of self-esteem and the fact that his friends love him, but think he’s sold himself pitifully short in his relationship. Stu’s a guy who’s committed himself to the wrong girl, but he keeps thinking he’ll make it work. He’s so far under Melissa’s thumb that he lies to her about where he’s going just to keep the peace. Stu is s upright, uptight, and straight arrow so when he wakes up with a missing tooth, finds big ATM withdrawals and that he’s married to a hooker, it’s not just a weird set of circumstances. It’s devastating to him. And funny. Near the end when Stu tells Melissa off, the theater audience cheered. I don’t think they would have if she hadn’t been such a royal bitch. The other two women are sympathetic. I could feel for the bride (even though she’s beautiful and rich, which is usually annoying) and Jade (Heather Graham) is darling. Oh, she did leave her baby with the guys, but she only went out for coffee. And at least one of the sleeping guys was her doctor husband. Phil is an asshole, but at least he loves his friends. Alan? I have no words. However, you’re absolutely right about the tasering and math savant ability. I didn’t see it until you tied it together, but that would have been brilliant.

    Hey, I know reason has to be suspended here, and credulity is strained to the breaking point. The fact of the matter is, the guys who love this movie are perfectly happy to do just that. Too much peeing? Creepy, out of place wedding singer? Hell, yes. Would the guys I watched the movie with agree? Hell, no.

    When I think about it, the situations that arose were pretty much all resolved by the end of the movie, so that’s something, at least.

    I adore “Dodgeball”. It’s much better than “The Hangover”, but I saw both in packed theaters, and “The Hangover” had people rolling in the aisles laughing. (And okay, me too. My only excuse is that laughter is contagious.) “Dodgeball”? More polite laughs. Most of the guys I know don’t really see the heart in “Dodgeball”. Although, come to think of it, a lot of them are kind of “Philish”.

    If I had a wish for “Hangover II”, it would be that they’d turn the script over to Jenny Crusie and Lucy March” for re-writes and polishing. Now, that would be a comedy worth seeing again and again.

  5. Anna, I only saw HTTM once and laughed hysterically the whole time; I may change my mind when I see it again and the shock value isn’t as great. The one thing I know HTTM has that The Hangover didn’t is structure. And since I’m a story addict, The Hangover just didn’t deliver for me. Too disjointed.

  6. Especially in comedy, Katie, taste is really important because while tragedy is universal, comedy really is subjective.

  7. Merrymac, if they turned Hangover II over to us, it would flop; it’s just not a genre we’re in tune with. But thanks for the vote of confidence!

  8. I’ve been thinking about this.
    You know that whole scene sequence with the police? Suppose when they went to get the car, it was there. You cut the police car stuff, all the scenes between they send the valet for the car and they get into the car at the impound lot.
    Now what information in those scenes would you have to put back so that they can find the groom?
    As far as I can remember, none.
    In fact, they have everything they need to find the groom as soon as they see the mattress on the roof. They learn absolutely nothing from the time they leave the hotel and see the mattress on the roof to the end of the movie when one of them suddenly says for no reason at all, “Oh, my god he threw the mattress off the roof!” Nothing in that whole freaking movie moves them toward their goal. It’s just:

    1. Unnecessary prologue.
    2. Sudden realization: “Ohmigod, We lost the groom!”
    3. A lot of stupid comedy, some of it pretty funny but most of dull or cringe-worthy.
    4. Sudden realization: “Ohmigod, the groom’s on the roof!”
    5. Chase to get the groom and get home.
    6. Stupid photo montage epilogue.

    I rated this movie too highly.

  9. Have to agree with all six of those. But even though it’s horribly flawed I still had a good time. Again, must have been the utter lack of expectations. I still want back the ninety minutes of my life that I wasted on The Big Hit, and with that for comparison, this comes off like Casablanca.

    Forgot to mention this earlier, I just thought that Alan was always a savant. At the beginning, doesn’t Doug say that they aren’t supposed to let him gamble? For some reason I later interpreted that as the foreshadowing for the card counting thing. I could be remembering this wrong; didn’t watch on Friday because of homework, so it’s been a while since I saw it.

  10. I will admit it. I love this film. I know, I know. The first time I saw it, I was on a flight to India and had finally got my two kids asleep and needed to zone for a while – and there it was playing on the seat in front of me. It was probably the exhaustion at work, but I was laughing so hard I was crying. When I first saw a trailer for the film, I thought here we go again. Another raunchy guy movie. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the movie.

    Yes, the story is VERY weak, but that seems the way with these kind of films (Talladega Nights was no Citizen Cane). And I too HATE the stupid photo montage epilogue as well. But this move produced fewer cringe worthy moments for me than Super Bad (barf!) or Dumb and Dumber (I have not yet met a man who didn’t love this movie – mega barf).

    I knew this was not going to be a great film going into it and I was not really looking for better story telling. I was perfectly happy watching those children taser the guys and watching a small, naked Asian man kick their asses.

  11. This movie cracks me up every time I see it. Sure you have to suspend belief, good taste and your better judgement, but it’s fun. Wahoo and I went to see it in the theater twice. We never do that. Ever.

    I like the setup in the first 15 minutes for a lot of the reasons merrymac pointed out above, but I also like it because it shows the juxtaposition between their regular lives and this crazy Vegas adventure. It takes them way outside their comfort zones and we see how each copes with the aftermath of their crazy night.

    I really like the bromance here, too. Doug is the glue that holds them together in the beginning, and then they have to work together to find that common denominator – Doug. Doug is also the best one of the group – he’s responsible, kind, patient, sane, etc.

    I think both Phil and Stu change as a result of their adventure. Stu dumps his abusive girlfriend and loosens up a bit. Phil becomes a kinder person (as we see him taking Alan under his wing in Doug’s absence) and comes to appreciate his life and family back home.

    Alan? He’s a strange bird who lives in his own reality. You’re not going to see a lot of change in a character like that.

    The photos at the end are a mix bag of funny and awful. Some really awful….

  12. I’ve been with y’all since It Happened One Night. When you started the bro-flicks, I thought, crimminy, give me a break, I hate those movies. And I hated Bernie’s, but stubbornly kept with it. Enjoyed Dodgeball, much to my surprise, and I have to say, my husband and I totally enjoyed the Hangover. I was so surprised. We were laughing all over the place. Even as the writer in me was observing, “oh, it’s one of those ‘three days earlier’ starts that I hate,” and “there is no clear protagonist here,” and “I guess the antagonist is the amnesia?” and, “that episode didn’t actually change anything,” and “wish they had set up the savant thing more,” “wish they had given Heather and Phil a moment of connection in the casino,” “what was up with that wedding singer?” the viewer in me was having a great time anyway, just following these guys around, watching them try to piece it all together. My husband and I, totally jaded movie watchers usually, laughed so hard! We had a great time.

    Which made me start to ponder if there was a different structure going on here, or some other story format… I thought of Wizard of Oz which is largely episodic, one mini-climax after another, loosely tied together by a strong goal, with all the effort essentially only there to change the characters, not solve the goal, which they had the answer to in the beginning. Not saying The Hangover is a classic like Oz, but there is a winding through a bizarro world (which Vegas post-roofie is for these guys) trying to return to the normal world, trying to find a way out, that works. (I know, the Wicked Witch is a clearer antagonist there, but still).

    Anyway, The Hangover obviously works as a story for a lot of people, despite it’s flaws. It worked for us. I’m usually nodding and agreeing with the podcasts so I was so surprised when y’all trashed this one! Very interesting. Still haven’t figured that out.

    Very interested to watch HTTM next week…

  13. The thing is, I thought the police sequence was one of the best parts. I loved those policemen, uh, policeman & policewoman…….those two. I looked at it as just one more event in an increasingly crazy day. Significant Other thinks the guys not recognizing the mattress as a clue should be forgiven. We didn’t catch it either (why didn’t I get that?) and we weren’t hung over from Roofies and missing large chucks of brain cells. His reasoning is that three staggeringly hung-over guys woke up in chaos and went into panic mode at the thought of the missing groom and his welfare not to mention the repercussions that would result from ruining the wedding. His problem came at the hospital when they realized they’d been drugged and didn’t call the police. But even then, he said the possession of the police car and the uncertainty of what crimes they might have committed mitigated that a little. They wouldn’t have been able to hunt for Doug from a cell. He flat out loves the movie and loved all the jokes. When the tiger was in the car, I thought he’d fall out of his seat.

  14. Wow, this seems like one of the most divided responses I’ve seen to a PopD movie! I missed the live event, but had Netflixed the movie several months ago. I think I lasted about an hour before I ejected it – I hit a point where I could no longer justify giving my time and attention to it. Some funny bits, but overall just too dumb and creepy for me to connect with.

    It’s funny – I always see very visceral reactions in the PopD crowd when the humor in the movie we’re watching demeans or dehumanizes women. I think as a man I may have a similar gut-level response when a movie gets too deeply into Dumb Guy territory, because it starts seeming sad rather than funny that we have to aim so low in the name of entertaining my gender.

    A dumb guy movie needs to have a little bit of heart and/or at least a little cleverness for me to be able to stomach the lowbrow stuff. That’s why I enjoy Team America – although it is THE grossest, dumbest thing I’ve seen, the satire is freaking hilarious, and the shock value of the grossness comes from a smart and cynical place. The Hangover, on the other hand was just a general celebration of dumbness and insensitivity, and that’s a party I’m happy to skip.

  15. I should be righteously researching a paper instead of discussing a movie, but here I am. I’m James, the SO of Merry. Merrymac, that is. I have to respectfully disagree with Keith. I’m no fan of dumb guy jokes or women denigrating jokes and I hate weight jokes with a dragon breathing passion. So, I’m thinking back to The Hangover trying to figure out what I might have missed. I left the theater feeling darn good. Four guys were better buds when the movie ended than they were at the beginning. One of the four initially may not have had any friends at all. And there he was at the end, a part of a group, with the loyalties that implies now including him. All four of them had the knowledge that the others would always have their backs. No matter how imperfectly. That’s a big deal. I thought The Hangover was a great, funny movie. It may not have been perfect, but I sure didn’t see it as mean spirited. I don’t get it.

  16. @Merrymac’s SO, sounds like I should try to make it through the whole thing. I’ll admit I didn’t last long enough to get to the positive point that you identified.

  17. Oh, and I didn’t see the movie as mean-sprited, just dumb. For me, it just wasn’t funny enough to be worth watching, but I don’t recall it being mean.

  18. I have to admit that I’m behind and haven’t heard the podcast yet and usually I wait but it’s so interesting to see what people like and what people don’t.

    For those of you that liked the movie, was it mostly because you liked the characters, or the premise, or was it just the general feel of the thing?

  19. I’m guessing that the divide in the discussion here is between people who NEED story and people who are okay if the story is weak but it makes them laugh. Me, I need story.

    I thought about this while I was driving around doing errands today. Here’s how I would have fixed it.

    Start at the car in front of the house. Phil (Bradley Cooper) is waiting with Stu (Ed Helms) when Doug (the groom) comes out with the bride. She says something like she’s so glad they’re going to a lodge or whatever instead of some loud place with strippers especially since they’re taking Alan (Zach G) because he always loses a fortune in Vegas and Daddy isn’t going to bail him out again. And it’s really sweet of them to take Alan because he doesn’t have many friends. Well, any. Then Alan comes out and they do the bit in the movie about having to take the brother, and the bride’s dad says take my car, yadda yadda. Meanwhile Stu’s on the phone with his girlfriend in the background getting yelled at. They all get in the car and Phil says, “Surprise, we’re going to Vegas.” Doug says, “No, no, no,” and Phil says, “Look, I know I’ve let you down before, but trust me, this is going to be great. I got us a suite, we can party up there, no disaster.” Stu says, “How did you pay for a suite?” and Phil says, “I used your credit card,” and they go off down the road.

    Now you’ve got Phil as your protagonist, trying to show his best friend a good time before he gets married forever, making up for past screw-ups.

    You’ve got Stu with the horrible controlling girlfriend not to mention the friend who uses his credit card, vibrating with anxiety.

    You’ve got Alan who just wants to hang with the guys, get some friends.

    And you’ve got the groom who wants to party and get back to his wedding.

    That puts more pressure on Phil–he promised he wouldn’t screw up again–on Stu–even his friends use him–and on Alan–he’s going into gambling territory and could lose everything, which would also lower his stature with the rest of the guys who are basically babysitting him at this point. And that gives you Phil’s arc–he’s going to come through for his friend–, Stu’s arc–he’s going to finally take a stand, and Alan’s arc–he’s going to grow up (and get tasered).

    So the last thing you see is Phil saying, “Everything’s going to be great,” and then you cut to the next morning with the chicken walking past Ed’s ear and the groom missing. Then all you have to do is tie everything together with cause and effect. Alan’s lost everything in his wallet the night before at the casino, but when they get taken to the police station, he gets tasered in the head and suddenly he can do math; when they need the 80 grand to ransom the groom, he says, “No, really, I CAN DO THIS,” and even though know he can’t, they trust him and it pays off big. And when they ransom the wrong Doug, the gangster doesn’t say, “Don’t know,” he says, “Last time I saw him he was really high,” and then laughs like a maniac, which is when Phil remembers the mattress and say, “Oh, hell, he’s on the roof,” and goes back and rescues him.

    Okay, it would have to be better written than that, but the story could have been constructed so that they put the pieces together as they tracked down Doug and changed because of the experiences (no epiphanies, they just get smarter), so that at the end they’re different people and they have bonded.

    The movie didn’t do any of that. It wouldn’t have been hard. They just needed to PLOT the damn thing. This way it feels like a string of comedy shorts by different authors with different viewpoints and styles held together by the premise that they have to find the groom even though nothing is really on the line for any of them if they don’t, besides the fact that they screwed up a wedding.

  20. okay, now I listened to the podcast and I think Lucy and Jenny were still generous. I decided not to vote in the poll because I think a 1 is too generous. If you don’t have a protagonist OR an antagonist OR a structure that allows the audience to follow your characters along the road then you don’t have my vote or attention. I learned a lot here so the time wasn’t a waste but I certainly wouldn’t have watched this all the way through if it weren’t for PopD.

  21. Okay – I’ve think I’ve figured out some of the process. I didn’t read the chat transcript until this am. That brings up a question. Is it possible that some of the movie experience is lost while live chatting, and reading responses, and commenting on some of the responses? Also, (and not to be argumentative, but out of curiosity), if I were watching a movie with someone whose opinion I respect, and that someone kept mentioning how terrible the movie was, I might not voice my enjoyment the way I normally would. From reading the transcript, I wouldn’t have thought the moderator’s would have panned it so thoroughly. And hey, I know because someone calls a movie I thoroughly enjoyed “staggeringly stupid”, it doesn’t mean they think I’m “staggeringly stupid” for liking it. Does it? Nah, horse racing, different strokes, two-sided coins, etc.. I get it, but I think I’d better back away slowly from PD. This is a writer’s place, which I ain’t. Obviously.

  22. First, you’re always welcome, James.

    But yep, the project is about watching movies to analyze story to write better novels. It’s not that we’re not happy with people who just want to watch the movie, but as we’ve talked about other places, once you start taking a movie apart to understand it’s structure, you pretty much lose the experience of actually watching the movie. It’s why we never do new movies. (Well, that and because we want them streaming or on DVD.)

    So probably the best way to do this is to already have watched the movie first. The Hangover has been out for at least a year, right? It’s available everywhere. So it’s a little like spoilers. For the first couple of months a book or movie is out, you just shut up about what happens in it unless you put a SPOILER notice on your post. A year after a movie is out, the spoiler pressure kind of evaporates.
    Also, we’ve been pretty clear that comedy in particular is subjective; I don’t think anybody said that people who like The Hangover are stupid. But if we look at a story and then become milquetoasts so that we won’t spoil anybody’s movie experience, we’re not accomplishing anything.

    There are very few people who do the chat. I don’t think most people even read the chats. And we’ve always said, “Watch the movie before you listen to the podcasts because they’re filled with spoilers.” So anybody who chats with us or listens to the podcasts has been warned up front: opinions will be expressed, movies will be spoiled.

  23. This movie has been so hotly debated here that I thought I would do a little informal poll amongst friends to see what others thought. I have found that either people really hate the Hangover or they really like it. And it does come down to the quality of the story for those who hate it.

    When we were studying rom-coms, it was clear to me those movies with compelling stories and well written characters were essential to how most people responded to the film. As I listened to the podcast and read all of the comments since then, it occurred to me that I was not expecting nor did I need a good story or well thought out characters to enjoy this film. Might this hold true for most “guy” movies or “bromances” or “brom-coms?” Do certain genres of film need good story telling more than others? Maybe that is the crux of the debate. For some the answer is no – a good story is always essential (and yes that is subjective). For others the answer is yes. This just occurred to me today after my facebook poll.

    I love it that there is such disagreement about the film. I think I learn more that way. I will keep wearing my Wolf Pack t-shirt and await the debate about Hot Tub Time Machine.

  24. Jenny, thank you for the response. I owe you an apology. I’d been under the impression that the live chat viewing night was the first time the moderators had seen the movie. Sorry I got that wrong. And no, I can see that being milquetoasts wouldn’t work at all. (Note to self…look up “milquetoast”.) And I didn’t believe anyone was calling me stupid. I’m told there’s the slightest possibility that I tend to take things personally sometimes. I can’t imagine where anyone would get that idea. Still, I guess Some Guys Just Can’t Handle Vegas Pop D.

  25. Oy. No HMTL tags. Kindly mentally strike-through “Vegas”, since that would make no sense at all. Also, “Milquetoast” – an unassertive, timid person coined from the name of a 1020’s comic strip character, Caspar Milquetoast. Caspar was evidently the ultimate jellyfish. There are definitely no milquetoasts in the Dialogues.

  26. @james – glad that jenny gave you a bit more perspective on the process.
    I think one of your other questions was whether having genius writers around influenced the others in the chat, etc.

    For me, I can say it doesn’t influence whether I like the movie or not but their influence on structure and story can be felt even then. For example, I was never going to be swayed from my love of The Philadelphia Story – which Jenny has many issues with – nor am I really likely to enjoy these stupid guy movies because this type of humor just isn’t something I appreciate and you’ll notice that Jenny and Lucy loved Dodgeball and have been talking about HTTM like it’s the second coming. However, if these stories had some structure I could at least say, “Wow, these are movies that do a good job of what they set out to do – they just aren’t for me.” Instead I just hope I don’t end up on a very long plane ride with these as my only entertainment choices.

  27. James, you don’t owe anybody an apology. It was the first time we’d seen it. And you raised some good points. Plus, I love to argue (g). We’re delighted to have people to argue with here. We live for it.
    It’s really good to go back and remember that this stuff is all subjective. I don’t really enjoy The Apartment, but I can see it’s brilliant moviemaking. It’s great story, it’s just not my kind of story. And I think that’s why Guy Comedy is a good series for us because for most of us, it’s not our kind of story or comedy. But it’s like critiquing a novel: It’s fine to say, “This didn’t appeal to me,” but that doesn’t help anybody learn anything. So you cowboy up and say, “Okay, here’s what I see in the structure.” Which is the INTENT behind PopD. Some nights we plotz.
    So I think that the people who loved The Hangover loved it because it made them laugh really hard and the lack of story wasn’t deal-breaker. I’m a story junkie and so is Lucy and we just were not in the mood that night. I think it’s possible we were too harsh, and your post made me look at it again, definitely, but it’s also true that there’s no there there, which is my sticking point.
    So as Cat said, we just agree to disagree and move on to the next movie.
    Which I have to admit is making me nervous now. Lucy and I loved it when we saw it the first time, but second viewings are often wake-up calls.
    Next week we start capers and heists which are pretty sure to require plots. Let’s see how that goes.

  28. OT, but I would really like to make a case for Inception to be put in at the end of the Heist/Caper section. I finally saw it and I feel like it IS a heist/caper film but, of course, it is so much more. I think it could be interesting and informative to see how they follow the typical heist/caper tropes (which popper will be v. familiar with by the end) and then we can all discuss how those tropes get turned on their head (sometimes literally…) to become something new. Hope you guys will think about it. Anyway, just my two cents…

  29. Thank you for explaining why this movie made me feel tense. I did think it was sort of funny, although not as gut-busting as some folks seem to find it. But I felt sort of irritated and tense all the way through. I thought it was just because I don’t like movies where a lot of things go wrong, but now I think it’s at least in part because the plot wandered so much that I never felt they were making any forward progress to trying to solve their problem. And when they finally found the groom-friend, I was totally bummed. He had this AWFUL time stuck up there getting miserably burned, and that sort of ruined the hijinky fun.

    SO, in short, I think a forward-moving plot could’ve solved a lot of this movie’s problems for me — even with the same outcome for the groom, at least I’d have felt the whole time like they were TRYING to find him and getting closer. Instead it felt like they were just bumbling and getting distracted and wasting too much time.

  30. I mostly agree with your assessments.

    Actually, wait. I do agree with the assessment that there’s not a clear protagonist or antagonist and that the structure is totally screwed up.

    But I think that sometimes the emotions (in this case, hating it) overwhelm the podcasts. Because there’s a time when you guys are talking about the time jump at the beginning and say it’s based on them lying. Which isn’t true — when the audience get to that point of the story (when it circles back around) — the guys absolutely think that they aren’t going to get the groom back. It’s not a lie until shortly after, when they figure it out (and Stu tackles Phil, takes the phone away, and they head back to the hotel).

    That’s maybe a nitpick, but when there are a couple of those kinds of moments, the podcasts starts to feel less constructive and more just a pile on to the movie people didn’t like. (Or alternatively, really liked, either way.)

  31. I think that’s probably right, Briana. I can’t speak for Lucy, but I was so frustrated at not being able to find story, that I was ANNOYED with the movie, so it went beyond not liking the experience of the movie to really being angry with the filmmakers for wasting my time. There really wasn’t enough there for us to analyze because there was no plot. There was a set-up, a premise, a lot of screwing around, and then a resolution. There wasn’t even a climax, just a realization. So I was left with nothing to analyze. We did the podcast a day or two after we’d watched it, and I actually liked it even less on reflection, it was just so damn sloppy and so reflective of so many bad comedies out there now that think that being funny is enough. If we’d ever done a podcast on The Ugly Truth, I’d have been just as savage (although that one had a basic plot). So not one of our better podcasts.

    Oh, and the point about the teaser being a lie:
    Flash-forward teasers that say “all these people die” or “we didn’t find the groom” are there to create false suspense and they don’t work. This is a comedy, of course they find the groom, so teasing a bad ending that isn’t going to happen is just dumb besides lying to the audience; the fact that the character was telling the truth doesn’t mean the writers weren’t lying to the audience. But then, most flash-forwards are dumb. They’re like prologues, signs of weak storytelling, and right now they’re hugely popular, good shows with usually good writing are doing them, and they’re never necessary.

    It’s not that I think all story-telling has to be linear. Out of Sight is an excellent example of non-linear storytelling. But The Hangover was linear; they just broke it to create false suspense. Annoys the hell out of me.

  32. @Jenny,
    Though it makes for a less even-handed podcast, it’s still pretty funny to listen to you two. So, there’s that.