Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham
Stag party. Vegas. Wasted. Wake up. Memory loss. Groom gone missing. Hilarity ensues. Really? A group of guys get wasted and can't remember stuff? We've all been there, right? And it's hilariously entertaining. Right? Well, actually, no, we haven't. But the scary part? It really is very, very funny.
So the set-up is shite, along with the characters - the sleazy Phil (Cooper), the reserved dentist Stu (Helms) and the borderline retard, Alan (Galifianakis). Oh, and Doug (Bartha), of course. He's the one getting married - for that, read no pretense at character whatsoever. But as this shallow group of men-children wander round Vegas, the one thing they do have going for them is their comic timing.
"I can't believe I gave away my Holocaust ring to a complete stranger" "I didn't know they gave out rings during the Holocaust!" From babies in cars to tigers in bathrooms, increasingly wacky things happen to the band of bleary-eyed brothers - watch out for a disturbingly amusing turn from a camp Chinese villain, Mr Chow. It's all oh-so-zany and oh-so-emotionally-engaging that the whole thing just gets annoyingly contrived; yes, they even marry a hooker, played by Heather Graham (bless her - she's the one person you actually feel sorry for).
Still, Todd Phillip's cast of relative unknowns is chosen well. Depraved debauchery abounds, but however crude, rude or lewd things get, the quick-fire gags are always hysterical. Is a sense of character really that important? Do you need a solid narrative arc, or a touching moment of pathos at the conclusion? Does any of it matter at all when you're laughing so much? Probably not. But the morning after, I bet you won't remember a thing.
Dude, where's my groom? Right next to that car you parked round the corner. A terribly hollow film that skimps on everything except for the jokes. And they always hit the mark.