By Charly SHELTON
Most all of us loved “The Hangover.” Stupid humor but absolutely hilarious. Now the writers and director reteam with star Zach Galifanakis to strike gold again. But instead of just joke after joke, this film is peppered with real emotion, showing that Galifanakis not only can make us cry from laughter, but from sadness as well.
Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is an expectant father who is in trouble. When Ethan Tremblay (Galifanakis) gets them both on the no fly list, Peter is sure he won’t make it from Atlanta back to Los Angeles in time for his child’s birth. That is until he begrudgingly agrees to share a rental car with Ethan on a road trip back to L.A.
Ethan, the aspiring actor, is all sorts of wacky and Peter is tightly wound and prone to snapping at people. The chemistry between the two is perfect and it makes for a hilarious road comedy, an updated-for-our-times version of what Hope and Crosby would be doing today.
The jokes are great. It is a close runner for being tied with “just as good as ‘The Hangover.’” But the jokes are not the only thing that makes this a great movie. The jokes alone would leave us wanting a little more.
What brings it home as a great film is that the jokes are seamlessly intercut with moments of real pathos. Ethan just lost his father and is going to Hollywood to become an actor and make his dad proud. He carries with him a coffee can of his dad’s ashes to be scattered along the way. At a couple of points in his journey, Ethan has to deal with the fact that his father is gone, and he is now alone. Galifanakis is not only a funny man, but he is just pathetic enough, yet just proud enough, to make it really work when he breaks down. I almost cried.
This movie is more than just a laugh fest comedy – it is a great all around movie.
Rated R, directed by Todd Philips. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.