If Benjamin Franklin is right (and I suspect he is) that beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy*, then hard liquor may be proof that Satan exists, and laughs at our agony the morning after indulging. But if there's a silver lining to a hangover, it's that it inspires a movie actually called The Hangover, allowing us to laugh about our own drunken antics ... and sigh in relief that they've never been bad enough to land us with a tiger, a baby, or a Mike Tyson punch. Then again, depending on what college or parties you've attended, you may have preferred to wake up with all three and a missing tooth rather than whatever or whoever you found yourself with. It doesn't always stay in Vegas.

So, in honor of the hard-partiers in The Hangover, here's seven wicked hangovers captured onscreen. It's difficult to narrow it down to just seven, so I've tried to represent just about everything except Cocktail. There's individual scenes, dark tales, and laugh out loud fratboy antics here, and ranked completely at random. They might actually make you think twice about accepting another shot of tequlia. Of course, if we ever learned from cinematic example or past experience, we'd probably never bite the lime or shout "Nastrovia!" more than once in our entire lives.

*There's no proof Franklin ever said this, but let's just lie and say he did




1. Leaving Las Vegas

Let's get the most depressing and obvious one out of the way. If there was a film that may have inspired Las Vegas' chirpy "What happens in ... " ad campaign, it was this one, because what city planner wants their tourists to remember the way Nicolas Cage left Las Vegas? It's an unflinching look at the destructive nature of alcoholism and addiction, and doesn't shy away for a happy ending. Whew. Now that one's out of the way.



2. 28 Days

We'll use this to transition between the horror and the comedy of alcohol, since it's a movie about rehab, and manages to strike a balance between tragi-comedy. Sandra Bullock has one hell of a drunken rampage at her sister's wedding, and as much as you'd like to believe it's over the top, we've all heard or seen a similar one. However, its serious message is somewhat undermined by Viggo Mortensen playing a guy addicted to drugs, alcohol and sex which leaves you thinking "I hope they don't cure him of all of those. Ahem."



3. BASEketball

"I don't get it. He's eight years old, and he smells like Robert Downey Jr.!" That's what happens when little Joey Thomas has one wish: to spend a day with his favorite Baseketball players. The day ends in a dive bar drinking tequlia shots, and Joe Cooper comes up with the brilliant idea to do a drinking game set to The Jerry Springer Show. "We'll take a shot every time there's a fight!" Bad idea when its a game day and Lil' Joey is due for surgery that night.



4. Dude, Where's My Car?

This movie is frequently held up as an example of how far movies have fallen ... which isn't fair as I think Little Man deserves that title far more. Plus, I've always admired that someone actually gave this a plot themed not just around booze, pot, and boobs, but around an alien invasion. Come on, that takes ambition and the consumption of legal and illegal substances.



5. Withnail & I

Classy drunks quote this movie. There's nothing else to really say. Withnail and Marwood slurred it all, and made us feel it too.



6. The Big Lebowski

"Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here!" While he never really gets drunk or hungover in the two hours we hang with him, I feel remiss making a list about drinking movies and not including The Dude. I think his nine White Russians help gave this film a sweet, warm buzz ... which is exactly the danger inherent in those delicious cocktails.



7. The Libertine

John Wilmot brings the list begun by Nicolas Cage full circle with a seamy, unapologetic romp through 17th century England. Gallons and gallons of wine are chugged in the course of Wilmot's life, resulting in poetry and plays that'll still make you blush. Watching the wreck of the Earl of Rochester makes you think Cage got off easy.