A.O. Scott has had it with immature dudes.

From his review of The Hangover:

“The city itself is not a place of sin but rather, for Stu, Phil and Alan, an Eden of the narcissistic, infantile id. Alan, in spite of his heavy beard, is almost literally a giant baby, his soft-bellied body appearing swaddled in a sheet and, most memorably, in a jockstrap that looks like a badly applied diaper. Until the end credits — which shuffle through still photographs from a harder-edged, more nastily and candidly adult movie — the on-screen nudity consists of male buttocks and a woman’s breast in the mouth of a nursing infant. This pretty much sums up the movie’s psychosexual condition, which old-school Freudians might identify as pregenital, more preoccupied with eating and elimination than with, you know, other stuff.

The tiny handful of women who have speaking roles in ‘Hangover’ may at first seem to be conventional figures in the straight-male imaginary — the sweet and patient bride; the emasculating, hypocritical shrew; the friendly prostitute (a sunny Heather Graham) — but they are all really incarnations of mommy. There is a bad mommy who won’t let you play, a good mommy who cleans up your mess and kisses your boo-boos and an extra special mommy who offers you her nipple even when you don’t pay for it as most of the other kids do. What hangover? This movie is safe as milk.”



  1. Anonymous says

    But. But. Heather Graham. As a mommy figure. It's like Boogie Nights for the next generation. A huge step up from Melanie Griffith or Jane Fonda. Am I missing something? Full disclosure: I am the gay man who found the above-linked Total Eclipse of the Heart "understated and oddly compelling".

  2. Considering all the raves I hear, there must be a lot of men with "mommy issues."

  3. Matthew Lickona says

    Understated and oddly compelling?
    Funny, I had the same thought about your comment.

  4. NewMexicoNurse says

    If this represents the "narcissistic, infantile id", is there such a thing as a communitarian, grown-up id? I just wonder how the Freudian neologism is being used here…MJH

  5. Matthew Lickona says

    Fair question! It's just possible that Scott ran a little off the rails here. It's clear he's looking to fire a volley, and that's when things tend to get sloppy…

  6. Anonymous says

    Stop analyzing the thing all to death, already. It was funny. The end.

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