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David Wild

David Wild

Posted: June 6, 2009 02:46 AM

The Hangover: Better Than Citizen Kane and Maybe Even Step Brothers


My wife and I just got home from seeing The Hangover and let me say we haven't laughed so much together since we saw Dick Cheney on Face The Nation.

Part of the genius of The Hangover -- yeah, I said "genius," just like Ray Charles or those kids on "Big Bang Theory" -- is the wise and fiscally prudent casting decision to make some movie stars here rather than just pay for some. As I see it, this memorable and even moving Vegas bachelor party comedy -- directed by Todd Phillips -- becomes infinitely more believable and relatable because it's not just another vehicle for the familiar funny suspects, but rather an effective showcase for a second-tier supergroup of comedy talent.

For instance, Zach Galifianakis has been oddly brilliant for more than a decade now. Yet seven years after his VH1 talk show effectively snuffed out his first breakthrough moment, this masterful misfit finally arrives for the masses that seek their comedy not at Largo but at the local multiplex. Ed Helms is wonderful on a weekly basis on The Office -- this praise coming from a jerk who really did go to Cornell -- but he's just earned a huge promotion with his funny and sweet performance here.

Last but not least, Bradley Cooper is tonight officially a major movie star -- as I could tell from closely watching my wife closely watching his performance in The Hangover. Here's a guy who seems to be funny and good looking enough to split that vast distance between Bill Murray and Matthew McConaughey. I would love to be Bradley Cooper's agent tonight -- except for the being an agent part.

Tomorrow my wife and I will take the kids to Land of The Lost. Wish us luck. But tonight -- before we experience our inevitable Hollywood hangover -- we had a great night in Vegas.