It’s Memorial Day Weekend in the US, and this year that means Hangover Part III mania!! For me, it began months ago when planning my tenth anniversary special issue of Vegas magazine. I knew that nothing else could equal the impact on Las Vegas that the Hangover franchise has had. So I was thrilled when Heather Graham agreed to do our cover and host our big party. The result: my favorite cover ever. I was even allowed to buy a special glittery font. (Our finance guy quipped, “I’ve never had to buy an editor diamonds before.”) That’s Vegas for you — we love our razzle dazzle! After the issue came out, Heather came out to Vegas for our huge soiree at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental.
It was the party of the year!
Before the big bash, a few of us pre-gamed in the stunning Mandarin Oriental bar on the 23rd floor.
One of my closest friends (and my favorite food writer) Catherine De Orio flew in from Chicago.
Fabulous fashion designer Chong Cha came into town from LA to come to the party with Camille Fagan.
My coworker Tiffany Carey is always by my side!
The party itself always goes by in a blur, whether the celebrity is Celine Dion, Shania Twain or Brooke Burke. I am consistently a bundle of nerves, trying to suck in my stomach, remember my speech (despite a sometimes crippling public speaking phobia), and keep my makeup perfect, all while being pulled in a million different directions.
Walking the red carpet with a star can be nerve-wracking. Stand up straight, suck it in, try not to blink in those lights… But above all, make your smile seem “natural” (ha)!
This photo shows how bright all of the camera lights can be.
Before our party, Heather got some bad press for saying she didn’t like Vegas, the city responsible for making the Hangover boys household names and earning her a pretty hefty paycheck. Me, I forgive her. She complained of “phony” people, too many machines and chilly air conditioning. She is hardly the first person to think that “the Strip” and “Las Vegas” were synonymous. Of course, I think that’s ridiculous and have worked hard on this blog to show what “normal” life here is. How can you judge an entire city (and population) based on four miles of tourist activities? Maybe you don’t like “gambling” or “casinos” or yes, even “the Strip” (although she loved the Cirque du Soleil shows so much she asked to try some of the stunts backstage)…
But I know that’s an uphill battle.
When I hung out with her, she asked me what it was like to live here, and was surprised when I said I liked it because I can afford to live in a three-bedroom house with my two big dogs and that I never go to nightclubs. She seemed genuine and into clean-living, which I certainly can’t fault her for.
As for the movie, I got a sneak peek the afternoon after the party. Heather has only a small role, and really, everyone else are just accessories to Zach Galifinakas. The only person who comes close is Ken Jeong, who has a huge role. Zach made me laugh by just walking onto the screen, every gesture, facial twitch, flash of him simply standing there an example of his comedic genius. As for the plot… Remember how everyone complained that Hangover Part II was just the first Hangover but in Thailand? Well, they took that to heart and made a completely different movie this time, for better or worse. Everyone was sort of stunned when it was done. After the credits though, there is a sort of short film in the old Hangover style, a ridiculous romp that instantly creating a theater full of belly-laughing fans. Although, I am not sure I could have taken a whole movie of it. But I am not the target audience here.
Did you see Hangover Part III this weekend? Tell me what you thought!
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