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.