It’s all gone wrong for Todd Phillips, hasn’t it? After the scandal of Frat House (the 1998 documentary about college fraternities that allegedly contained staged sequences), Phillips rebounded with the sporadically funny Road Trip and the zeitgeist-capturing Old School. Suddenly, he was redeemed. And just as suddenly, he was back on the canvas following the ol’ one-two of Starsky & Hutch and School for Scoundrels. And we’ll not discuss why he didn’t finish Borat.
Looking over his best films, the trouble with Phillips is that he’s better at assembling talent than directing it. I still enjoy the first two-thirds of Old School, but, laugh for laugh, it just can’t compete with Anchorman or Talladega Nights. There doesn’t seem to be much of a personality in his films; if pressed to identify the Phillips "touch", I’d cite the scene where he sucks Amy Smart’s toes in Road Trip.
So, after the PG-13 inanity of School for Scoundrels, maybe Phillips is on the verge of rediscovering his inner letch with Hangover, a (hopefully) randy comedy for Warner Brothers about three friends who get hammered during a Vegas bachelor party and lose the groom. Upon regaining badly compromised consciousness, the boys are forced to piece together the evening in order to find the wayward hubby-to-be.
It’s not much of a premise, but it could be something if Phillips rounds up a solid cast. Unfortunately, his Old School cohorts are pretty much booked through to June, so he might have to eat another Jon Heder shit sandwich. And should he skew young, he’ll be casting from the Apatow pool. Since Apatow’s got seventy-three movies heading into production before the strike, I think he’s pretty much fucked on that front.
But I wish him luck anyway!