Oh, thank God. It's been two days and we haven't talked about 'The Hangover Part 2.' I'm glad we're back on schedule.
If we're not spoiling a "surprise cameo" six months ahead of time, or documenting the vague reasoning behind pulling a vaguely inappropriate trailer, let's talk about how the director of notoriously raunchy comedies can't seem to make a dry, slightly subtle joke without a lot of controversial criticism.
It all started when director Todd Phillips was doing one in a looooong line of promotional interviews for his upcoming R-rated comedy. Seeking to break the monotony of still being asked about Mel Gibson, Phillips joked that he got the capuchin monkey sidekick of Zach Galifianakis addicted to cigarettes for a scene in the movie and was now being harassed by PETA. It was a simple joke meant to garner a laugh. However, using the "If I read it on the Internet, then it must be true" principle, everyone actually got mad at him for something that didn't happen.
Today, Phillips had to release a statement to Movieline explaining that his joke was in fact a joke, and not an admission of guilt about animal cruelty:
This was a joke. I make comedies.
If you read the story, it doesn't even make sense. 'On the set of her new film, she won't stop smoking cigarettes.' Umm. Really? Maybe just take them away from her. Or at least take her money away so she can't buy them any longer.
When you are doing press for a film, it tends to get repetitive, lots of the same questions over and over. Sometimes I like to mix it up with the journalists. Obviously, the monkey in the film NEVER smoked a single cigarette. There are people on set whose sole job is to protect that monkey. Even if I wanted her to smoke it wouldn't be allowed. By the way, she also appears to do cocaine in the movie, but I guarantee you that she didn't do that either (I can't, however, comment on Ken Jeong's cocaine use in the film).
Sorry for the confusion, but it definitely is a funny headline 'PETA pissed after Todd Phillips gets Hangover 2 monkey addicted to cigarettes.' Definitely one for the office wall.
So there you go. But we could understand why this happened; why take a moment to analyze tone when you could immediately state an opinion on the issue?
Moviefone rant time: For what's supposed to be a comedy, there sure is a lot of "drama" around 'The Hangover 2.' In our opinion, none of this stuff will actually make the movie funnier; it's just pulling the curtain back for the sake of pulling it back. And then when the movie comes out and people have that vague feeling that it was a disappointment but are unable to articulate why, it will have been because they saw too much of how the sausage is made. But that's what happens when you get a bunch of corporate suits meddling with something that already worked in an effort to make it work "better."
Anyway, the irony is not lost on us that we had a deathly serious reaction to people's deathly serious reactions to a harmless joke.
'The Hangover 2' comes out on Thursday, May 26, Memorial Day weekend.