Supplemental Viewing. The Hangover

So I thought and thought about what wouldn’t be the most typical movie to relate the works we’ve been reading to and I remembered The Hangover. Though it doesn’t typically deal with time travel it does deal with having to look into the past to answer questions in the present so that they can get out of their predicament. I found this to be a similar theme in many of our stories but the one I can relate to The Hangover the most would of course be Rip Van Winkle.

The Hangover was recently on television and is a very popular comedy with even a sequel. But it’s the first one I’m focusing on. Four friends Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug all head to Vegas to celebrate Doug getting married. The main characters Phil, Stu, and Alan have their quirks. Phil is a cool teacher who cannot wait to leave his home life behind momentarily and have some fun. Stu is a dentist in an abusive relationship. His girlfriend beats on him, yells, and basically runs his life. He ends up lying to her to be able to get away with his friends for the weekend. Alan, Doug’s brother in-law, lives at home and is just weird. 

When they get to Vegas, city of sin, they all take shots unknowingly that they contain roofies. Next thing they know they’re waking up in a trashed hotel room with a crying baby, Stu is  missing a tooth, and with a tiger in the bathroom. Not too long after they realize the groom Doug is missing. They then have to do a number of things including returning to a wedding chapel, a stripper’s apartment,the hospital, Mike Tyson’s house, and deal with getting shot at just to piece the night together.

The movie reminded me of Rip Van Winkle in many ways. First and most obvious it had to do with being intoxicated. Both the tale and the movie consisted of characters not being sober. It also allowed for both stories to not be typical time travel stories. Having been drunk made all characters fast forward to the future resulting in having to piece together what happened while they were inebriated. 

Rip is a very indifferent character (not unlike Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse- Five). He had an unhappy home life with a nagging wife. He always tended to stray from responsibilities. One day while trying to get away from his wife he goes on a walk with his dog and crosses paths with a dutch dressed little man. He found himself follow him up the mountain into the company of other men just as strangely dressed drinking and playing nine pins. This also helped connect The Hangover with the story. I connected the group of friends downfall of drinking and meeting new people as they partied and gambled with Rip’s downfall and how he ended up waking up from a drunken sleep several years after that night.

When Rip awakens he doesn’t realize at first what has happened. He walks back into town and slowly pieces together that he had been asleep for many years and that many things have changed. The government was different, the town was different, the people were different. He couldn’t believe it at first. After learning that his wife had died he wasn’t very phased by the news. He then accepted the changes and lived his life out. 

The Hangover had a similar plot. They woke up from their drunken state to have to piece together a crazy night. They go in circles re-meeting people from the previous night to try to find their friend Doug.

I felt the two characters that were the most similar were Rip and Stu. Like Rip, Stu had trouble keeping his partner happy. She was just as mean and nagging as Rip’s wife was made out to be. Stu wanted to have some fun with his friends but knew his girlfriend wouldn’t be up for it so he ended up lying to get away. In both stories, the audience tends to feel sorry for the two characters. At the end of the stories Rip ended up ridding himself of his horrible relationship with his wife after she died. Stu also overcame and got rid of his issue with his girlfriend after finally coming up with enough courage to end his relationship with her.

When I first st…

Aside

When I first started this class and learned the theme was time travel, I was interested. I imagined stories about happy endings and characters that might have once been bad that turned good through the power of travel. Like the Christmas story of Ebenezer Scrooge. He traveled backwards and forwards and at the end became a giving and loving person. I guess that’s just Christmas stories. I have never read this much science fiction before so I guess I didn’t know what to expect. I saw time travel completely differently than what I had thought it was like. I thought it was appealing and fascinating. you get to relive moments and memories or even preview your life in the future. I didn’t realize reliving moments in your life meant reliving every moment meaning the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some of the novels we’ve read and films we’ve watched have been scary to imagine actually happening. Slaughter House- Five had many trips back to  the war that haunted him and unfavorable times with his wife and family. Kindred involved her saving the life of someone she hated to ensure life in her time continued as it was. I didn’t realize having no say over where you got to travel to could be terrorizing. You wouldn’t know if you were reliving your high school years or your death. The films also display that tampering with time could potentially ruin life as we know it. Bottom line, time travel is a delicate matter. A time traveler has to be strong and capable of handling the unknown or be indifferent to situations and have no real feelings or emotions towards events in his or her life. I didn’t realize how differently the theme of time travel could be taken thanks to be different genres. So far, this class has given me different perspective on the matter.

Kindred

After having read only some of Kindred I find myself not wanting to put it down. But before I got started on it I read some material on the author. She is a black woman who had a close ancestry to slavery. Her love for science fiction started at a very young age and blossomed since then. She had received several awards on her works before her death. Not only did I find the authors bio interesting but I also appreciated the fact that the main character was a woman for once. Science fiction has tended to be dominated by white men. To have a a woman of African decent doing the time travelling was refreshing. The fact that she broke many barriers with the work was obvious.

Having read what I did read the work in Kindred, it reminded me of the Doctor Who episode we watched. Not only was Dana time travelling, but she was time travelling to time where she didn’t exist to save the day. She is frequently saving Rufus who isn’t the nicest person. She also brings with her her modern day knowledge to effect the current time she has traveled to like teaching Nigel how to read.

I also noticed how Dana’s current relationship with Kevin somewhat remsembles what her life could have been if she had lived during that time. Like her marriage to Kevin. It was frowned upon and judged by many people. Interracial relationships usually tend to attract attention no matter the time.  He is also somewhat like the modern day Rufus. They both wanted to always be in control and have things always and only go their way. However, Dana still seems to be a strong woman during anytime of struggle. Please leave any comments or feedback!