Great guy films shouldn’t leave you with a hangover
A few weeks ago I saw “The Hangover, Part 2.” About all I can say about it is director Todd Phillips should have stopped at “The Hangover.” The original, with Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, was the perfect mix of raunchy male juvenile humor. Galifianakis may be the funniest guy in Hollywood at the moment.
Phillips got pure chemistry from them in “The Hangover.” “Part 2” was about as funny as … a hangover.
Oh well. Back to the original. The list of hilarious scenes is nearly endless, from the tiger in the bathroom to the valet delivering the police car to the unsuspecting trio at the hotel to Mike Tyson’s appearance. “The Hangover” goes on my list of top guy films ever. As you can guess, though, it’s strictly a film for guys. You’re about as likely to find “The Hangover” on a female’s list of favorite films as you are to find “Chocolat” on a male’s list.
“The Hangover,” as are the rest of the films mentioned here, is among my favorite guy’s films ever. It’s a list, and as such it’s meant to spawn arguments. So, here, in no particular order, in addition to “The Hangover,” are my favorite guy films:
✓ “Top Gun.” Surely every male has this movie on his list. I have friends who have seen this film more than 20 times. And why not? Have not we all at one time or another wanted to fly fighter jets? Tom Cruise fulfilled every red-blooded American male’s fantasy in this 1986 tale of the Navy’s best of the best. Who among you hasn’t dreamed of being Cruise, dressed in crisp Navy whites, singing “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” to Kelly McGillis?
✓ “The Right Stuff.” I’ve always been a fan of this quirky film adaptation of the Tom Wolfe book. The 1983 film about the original seven Mercury astronauts is a valentine to an America we may not see again. One that reveled in a great challenge, one that had no fear of the unknown, in fact welcomed it. One that was confident to the point of cockiness. That was the original space program. Those seven guys had The Right Stuff, but they lived and worked with the grim reaper always standing nearby. And they all paid homage to a guy named Chuck Yeager, the first guy to break the sound barrier. He’s played by Sam Shepard and the scene when he rides his horse in the desert to see his airplane, the X1, the night before his historic flight, is worth the price of admission.
✓ “Apocalypse Now.” There have been a lot of movies about Vietnam, many of them very good. But none of them approach Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” Often said to be a 20th century retelling of Joseph Conrad’s novel, “Heart of Darkness,” it’s a creepy tale of a voyage up the Mekong River into Cambodia in search of a Col. Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando, an American who’s gone rogue and is conducting his own private war. The mission is conducted by Capt. Benjamin Willard, young Martin Sheen. Life on the river becomes more and more bizarre the deeper into the jungle Capt. Willard goes. The film is scored with iconic rock music that fits perfectly, as anyone who was in Vietnam knows.
✓ “Body Heat.” By today’s standards, or lack of, this 1981 steamy thriller that was Kathleen Turner’s first leading role, wouldn’t turn any heads. But back then all those sweaty bodies and the bathtub scene in particular had guys paying close attention to this whodunit. Here’s some trivia about “Body Heat:” Turner and her co-star, William Hurt, wanted the crew to feel comfortable filming their love scenes, so they decided they needed to get to know them, since they’d never met. A kind of meet and greet was arranged and Turner and Hurt showed up — naked. True story. Or so I’ve been told.
So, there you have it. My list of five what I consider to be great guy films. I’m sure you have your own list, so get it out and have at it.
See you at the movies.