While he had been in a few films and shorts beforehand — most notably his villain turn in Wedding Crashers — Bradley Cooper’s first big movie star role was in The Hangover, in 2009, a massive comedy hit.
Cooper, along with Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, starred in a pair of Hangover sequels, and Cooper has since moved on to much more prestigious projects, the kind that has led to him getting frequent Oscar nominations. Cooper has also directed two films to date,A Star is Bornand Maestro, both of which he also starred in.
Last week, while promoting Maestro, Cooper revealed that he would like to star in another Hangover picture. The comments came in an interview with the New Yorker editor David Remnick, who asked Cooper if he is “done with fun.”
“In other words, if another kinda fun comic role came along, it was three months of your life, it’s not ‘Hangover 5’ but something of a similar spirit,” Remnick asked.
“Well, I would do ‘Hangover 5,’” Cooper said. “It would be ‘Hangover 4’ first, but yeah.”
I would love to see Cooper make another comedy, at some point. He’s very good at it. But Hangover 4? That’s a bad idea, for several reasons.
Bad Idea for Several Reasons
For one thing, while the original The Hangover is a comedy classic, both sequels were terrible, and neither had a good enough idea attached to justify its existence. The third one was less a comedy than an action thriller that happened to co-star the Hangover characters.
A huge part of the appeal of the first Hangover was that it was surprising. The sequels were completely lacking in that.
Plus, the Hangover movies are very much of another era, one where characters in studio comedies would drop the sort of slurs that would be unthinkable today. Aziz Ansari talked about this in a standup special a few years ago. Bro comedy was in favor for a very long time, at least at the movies, but it isn’t any longer.
Bro comedy was in favor for a very long time, at least at the movies, but it isn’t any longer
Not to mention, while Cooper has certainly maintained his boyish good looks, he’s now 48 years old. Helms is 49, and Galifianakis is 54 (Justin Bartha, the guy who disappeared for most of the first movie, is 45). By the time a fourth Hangover could be assembled, shot, and released, they’ll all be a couple of years older.
Raunchy comedy is very much a young man’s game, and if they made another Hangover, it would have to make it a joke that they’re older than they used to be. But when that’s the joke, it’s rarely a very funny one.
Old School — also directed by Todd Phillips — treated it as a joke that a bunch of men in their mid-30s were hanging around a college and doing frat stuff. The Hangover cast is 15-20 years older than the Old School cast was at the time that film was made.
Cooper has moved onto bigger things, as has Todd Phillips, who directed all three movies (Phillips, for his part, believes that “wokeness” has ruined comedy, although hisJokermovie made so much money that he could probably make whatever comedy he wants next). Galifianakis and Helms are keeping a much lower profile these days.
At any rate, there’s not much reason to think that Hangover 4 is in the works; after all, this whole discussion began with the editor of The New Yorker asking Cooper about it, not from any solid report. This is an idea best left at the rumor stage.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.