THE HANGOVER:

There are some comedies that make you laugh at things you know you shouldn’t be laughing at. This applies to any movie with “jackass” in the title and to this R-rated raunchfest about a trio of guys (Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms) who get so wasted at a Las Vegas bachelor party that they can’t remember what happened or why the groom-to-be (Justin Bartha) is nowhere to be found. Putting all the pieces together while meeting any number of assorted oddball characters is what the movie’s plot is built around. However, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s screenplay never employs the old hat convention of the flashback to assemble the alcohol, date-rape pill induced escapades of the three men who arrive in Sin City morally challenged to begin with. It’s enough to say, without revealing too much, that it all begins with shots of Jagermeister (the spirit that remembers even if you can’t) on the roof of Caesar’s Palace and will involve visits to blackjack tables, strip clubs, a wedding chapel and encounters with a really mean and naked Chinese mobster (Ken Jeong) in the trunk of a car and a tiger belonging to former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. Some of the comic bits don’t quite register, and it occurred to me that most of the women in this movie are hookers (technically, escorts), ill-defined or total females of the canine species. But I can’t in good conscience rip a movie that’s supposed to make me laugh and does so a majority of the time even if I think the behavior of the characters is irresponsible, wrong-headed or just downright stupid. At the risk of being sexist, I can only explain it as yet another difference between the sexes, like our appreciation of The Three Stooges and the “toilet seat thing.”

EXCELLENT MOVIES THAT SHOW WHY DADS ARE IMPORTANT, TOO: BOYZ N THE HOOD (1991), FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950), FIELD OF DREAMS (1989), KRAMER vs KRAMER (1979), LIFE WITH FATHER (1947), ON GOLDEN POND (1981), PARENTHOOD (1989), A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT (1992), TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)