On page 145 of TF issue 193, Matt Glasby asks:
"Is it just me... or is The Hangover actually horribly offensive?"
Here are a few excerpts:
If you’re going to be dark, be witty, and if you can’t be witty, be fun – these are the twin tenets of comedy. But the gags in Todd Phillips’ The Hangover are either poor or appalling, springing from a core of hate/fear at everything the characters (and, we assume, the filmmakers) aren’t: female, foreign, gay.
And it’s difficult to have a good time with people you can’t stand. Teacher Phil (Bradley Cooper) cheats his pupils, bad mouths his wife/life/ son, and leaves a baby at the mercy of a tiger. Prissy dentist Stu (Ed Helms) panders to his horrible girlfriend, oddball Alan (Zach Galifianakis) spikes his friend’s drinks and best-of-a-bad-bunch Doug (Justin Bartha) seems unfazed at ruining his fiancé's big day.
Buddy films usually contain a certain amount of homoeroticism, but it really rankles with these dudes. Within the opening five minutes there are three very explicit ‘We promise we don’t like men’ gags (“Don’t text me, it’s gay,” says Phil). In case you didn’t get the SMS, these are straight men jovially afraid of homosexuality – only it’s not always that jovial (“He’s getting very close to my shaft,” says Alan accusingly, of his tailor). The film seems to concur: the sole gay character is lisping, naked super-queen Mr Chow (Ken Jeong). He’s not exactly the best poster boy for race relations, either.
This is either bad writing or plain old misogyny, and the choice of celebrity cameo points firmly to the latter. Before an entire sequence dedicated to date-rape jokes – difficult ground for even the most fleet-footed of comedians – up pops convicted sex offender Mike Tyson, who Stu decides is “kind of a sweetheart”, an even creepier benediction. There’s a reason you don’t see Gary Glitter in the Thailand-set sequel, or O.J. Simpson in the later Zucker Brothers films. It’s not only disrespectful to the people they’ve hurt – it’s just not funny, and it leaves a worse taste in the mouth than a night on the jägerbombs with four utter dicks. Or is it just me?
Check out the full article in Issue 193 - on sale 13 April 2012.
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