We've found the seven movies to see you through your darkest days
In Todd Phillips’s new comedy The Hangover, three men wake up after a bender in Las Vegas with no idea what happened to them. In that spirit, Time Out lists some of the other great ‘morning after’ movies…
Character: Jane Fonda’s alcoholic former D-list actress Alex Sternbergen. Before: Fonda spends her days trawling the crimson parlours and back-alley drinking dens of east LA.
The big night: A three-day bender in a succession of seedy neon rat-traps.
Aftermath: Alex wakes up with a righteous hangover and the bloody corpse of last night’s drunken conquest lying next to her with a kitchen knife in his back. But did she plunge the blade in herself, or is this a set-up?
2 Dumbo (1941)
Director: Ben Sharpsteen
Character: A Deep South circus elephant with outsize ears.
Before: Dumbo is traumatised after seeing his mother locked up in the circus nuthatch, so he drowns his sorrows in the nearest giant vat of noxious fluids.
The big night: Just your usual psychedelic animated jazz-trumpet pink-elephant phantasmagoria.
Aftermath: When you wake up in a tree with a quintet of sass-talkin’ crows, you know you’ve had an large night. Interestingly, said crows have proved controversial ever since: a crude stereotype of street slang, or a rare chance to see confident, independently minded black characters in pre-civil rights cinema?
3 California Man (1992)
Director: Les Mayfield
Character: Link (Brendan Fraser) is the cryogenically frozen caveman who is then turned into the quintessential Hollywood surf dude.
Before: Caveman Link is merrily discovering fire with one of his fellow troglodytes.
The big night: A sudden earthquake traps Link in a mountain of rubble and – instead of dying in agony – he is frozen in time.
Aftermath: Two-man high school dweeb unit Pauly Shore and Sean Astin start digging a swimming pool in the back yard of their LA homestead and, lo and behold, they locate a big block of ice containing Brendan Fraser. The usual gnarly pratfalls ensue. Released in the US as Encino Man and later remade as Blast From The Past
4 Memento (2000)
Director: Christopher Nolan
Character: Guy Pearce’s seriously forgetful Lenny.
Before: Lenny was an insurance man before a savage attack left him with short-term memory loss.
The big night: Tricky to recall as Lenny can only remember events that happened during the last 15 minutes.
Aftermath: Lenny’s perennial morning-after feeling leaves him highly susceptible to all manner of suggestion and deception from his duplicitous chum Joe Pantoliano. Whether this is a gift or a curse, however, you, the viewer, must decide.
5 Sleeper (1973)
Director: Woody Allen
Character: New York jazz musician and health food nut Miles Monroe (Allen himself).
Before: Miles is at the top of his game – bebopping and scatting around Manhattan.
The big night: A routine hospital procedure sees Miles frozen in suspended animation for two centuries.
Aftermath: An unremitting round of broad slapstick mayhem based around spoofs of myriad sci-fi staples as Miles goes on the run with – yes, you guessed it – Diane Keaton in prime loopy mode.
6 Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
Director: Danny Leiner
Characters: Slack-jawed drifters Jesse (Aston Kutcher) and Chester (Seann William Scott).
Before: Perpetual idiocy, we assume.
The big night: The biggest, loudest, gaudiest bender imaginable, involving semi-clad dancing girls, velour tracksuits and a limo ride down the Sunset Strip.
Aftermath: Waking up in their disgusting hovel with no recollection of the night before, the pair walk out on to the street and utter that immortal line: ‘Dude, where’s my car?’ UFO cultists, Cantonese tailors and a cloistered ostrich farmer all figure in their quest to locate the whereabouts of their clapped-out Renault 5.
7 Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Director: John Hughes
Characters: Neal Page (Steve Martin) and Del Griffith (John Candy) as odd-couple travelling companions.
Before: Fated to travel home together for Thanksgiving, an uptight exec and a loveable schlub have to share a motel room.
The big night: Two guys; one bed; no room for error.
Aftermath: All warm and toasty in bed, it takes a good while for these two sleepyheads to realise that Candy’s hand is lodged, not between two pillows, but in the crack of Martin’s bottom. Cue histrionics, followed by mucho macho talk about sport and general manliness. The Hangover is released on July 30