I turned 40 years old on Tuesday, and to celebrate my wife and I hit Las Vegas. There are few places that spring to mind as quickly as Las Vegas when it comes to a place to get away and party, or a place where that revelry can go off the rails. Hopefully that won’t be the case for me, but often these stories can be fun to watch.
This week, in honor of my trip, I am looking at five comedies tied to Las Vegas with fun stories. Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.
Fools Rush In (1997)
About: This comedy sees Matthew Perry as a project manager from the East Coast shipped to Las Vegas to finish a Casino project. There he meets Isabel (Salma Hayek) and they hook up, then they end up getting married in a whirlwind after Isabel finds out she’s pregnant. Their families clash over cultural differences, and the dream quickly fades into a nightmare. This is an interesting comedy, and peak Perry during the middle of the run for Friends. It might not be the first film that jumps to mind when you think of Las Vegas, but it’s a decent romantic comedy. My wife loves this one, so it’s regularly in her VuDu re-watch rotation.
The Hangover (2009)
About: This is ultimate comedy that springs to mind when you think of a wild time in Las Vegas. A crew head to the city for a bachelor party, and soon the groom (Justin Bartha) goes missing. His three friends (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zack Galifianakis) go on a mission to find him. This movie is an all-time classic comedy, and probably the only good film Todd Phillips has ever made. There are some iconic scenes and great performances. I’ve loved this movie since I first saw it during the summer of 2009.
Ocean’s 11 (2001)
About: This Steven Soderbergh directed comedy is a re-make of the classic Rat Pack film. This one sees George Clooney as Danny Ocean and Brad Pitt as his right-hand man. Together they plot a scheme to rob a casino and win back Danny’s estranged wife (Julia Roberts). This one is smooth and funny, has a great cast and ends in a great spot. This captures the fun and lights of the city while telling a memorable story. It kicked off a franchise, but this is by far the best of the films.
Vegas Vacation (1997)
About: This is the fourth film in the Vacation comedy franchise. Chevy Chase returns as Clark Griswold and Beverly D’Angelo returns as his put-upon wife, Ellen. They find Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) living in the desert as they head to Las Vegas. This film features the familiar sites and has cameos from iconic performers like Siegfried and Roy and Wayne Newton. It’s fine but doesn’t match the heights of Christmas Vacation or the original Vacation. But if you’re a fan of the franchise, this one fits the mold.
What Happens in Vegas (2008)
About: Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz are a mis-matched pair who end up in Las Vegas to drown their sorrows. They meet, they party and they end up getting married. After one of them wins $3 million at the slots, the pair is forced by a judge to try and make the marriage work or they get no money. Hilarity and a predictable love story ensue. This one doesn’t take place solely in Vegas, or even mostly in Vegas, but the city is a prime driver in the plot. It’s a decent comedy that has an interesting twist.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.