Directed by Ross McGowan and co-written with stars Craig McDonald-Kelly and David Hepburn, after a heavy night out, Bruce want’s to get back on it but has a hard time convincing Lee, who feels like death; figuratively and literally.
Whereas many films have taken a classically male-centric story and gone in a direction that allows it to only work for a very specific audience, the filmmakers here have to managed to create something that’s for an entirely wide audience and that impression comes through quickly. Right off the bat, it’s funny and continues to be consistently so throughout the entire film, it sets up a very modern, current atmosphere and brings though a humour that’s both relevant and accessible. When the story then takes a huge turn, it does so smoothly and introduces a dose of horror into the comedy mix, bringing in a little bit of slapstick style humour that fits in very well with the tone. The writing overall creates something that’s a blend of silly, funny and relatable, it plays with a lot of familiar notes but in a way that feels fresh.
It’s certainly helped to feel different and new through its lead actors, Kelly and Hepburn create such a fantastic and utterly convincing friendship, they tick all the boxes. They have a nice banter and it does genuinely feel like they’ve got a history, even before they explicitly say so. The two play off of each other perfectly, it feels completely natural and they hit the comedic timing perfectly, you could watch them for a lot longer than the 10-minutes they give us. Their performances are particularly good in the way that they both adjust to changing situation, it’s delightfully self-serving and they immediately forget to consider the bigger picture, as most people probably would.
That very natural feel to it also comes through with the direction, it’s as though there’s a purposefully unpolished quality it, feeding into its realistic depiction of 20-something men, not trying to be slick but meshing together a modern perspective with a 70s sit-com atmosphere. It also manages to add a nice amount of movement to it, being shot in quite a tight location, it never feels like it’s getting too close, any close-ups feel like a natural addition to the humour and to emphasise its point. The cinematography (by Tom Anderson) adds to the visual nicely, there’s a good use of colour that feeds into the changing nature of the story which along with the make-up work, really adds to the comedy.
Hangover Food is incredibly funny, hugely enjoyable and simply one of those films that will put a smile on your face. This team has rather impressively managed to make a story that’s entirely male-centric without alienating portions of the audience, it doesn’t fall into the categories of frat boy or toxic masculinity where so many others have. It builds a great mix of genre, the timing is perfect and it brings a very familiar and classic sense of humour while retaining its modern tone. Most of all, it genuinely leaves you wanting more.