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The Stag and other Men at Play movies - special feature

The Stag

Compiled by Jack Foley

THROUGHOUT cinematic history, the ‘group of guys misbehaving’ trope has been visited often – whether this is through the medium of school/college kids searching for sex, or middle-aged men behaving badly.

The Stag, set for a digital release on July 7, 2014, and coming to Blu-ray and DVD from July 21, is the latest testosterone-heavy comedy to mine this seam so, to celebrate we’re taking a look at some of the best ‘man’ films out there:

Animal House (1978)
Directed by John Landis, National Lampoon’s Animal House follows a misfit group of fraternity members who challenge the dean of Faber College. Based on writer Harold Ramis and producer Ivan Reitman’s personal College experiences, the film’s cast is led by John Belushi as drunken degenerate Bluto who leads his fellow Frat members into all kinds of gross-out, tasteless but very hilarious antics.

Swingers (1996)
Doug Liman’s much-loved 1996 comedy-drama follows two single, unemployed actors living in Hollywood during the 1990s swing revival; starring Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn (in his debut role), the former is pining over the loss of his long-term girlfriend, whilst the latter makes it his personal mission to teach his pal the swinging lifestyle (giving exposure to the term ‘wingman’) amidst Hollywood nightlife.

The Full Monty (1997)
Peter Cattaneo’s Sheffield-set comedy-drama stars Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy and Tom Wilkinson as unemployed men who decide to form a male striptease act in order to earn enough money to do something with their lives. The film’s title is a reference to a line of dialogue in the film where it is announced they will go ‘the full monty’ – (which translates to stripping all the way). The film’s use of Hot Chocolate’s classic You Sexy Thing helped earn this place amongst the most revered British films of the 90s.

American Pie (1999)
This naughty teen film – which has spawned three sequels – focuses on five male friends who make a pact to lose their virginity before their high school graduation. Forcing Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott (as scene-stealer Stifler) into the limelight, the film was a box-office smash with the film’s title referring to a particularly debauched scene whereby Biggs’ Jim is caught masturbating with a pie after being told how third base feels like ‘warm apple pie’. Eugene Levy’s role as Jim’s father is also a highlight.

Wedding Crashers (2005)
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn star as John and Jeremy, the two ‘wedding crashers’ of the title who naughtily sneak into wedding parties in order to meet and bed women. During one particular wedding party (held by Christopher Walken’s U.S. Secretary of the Treasury) the two meet and fall for his daughters Claire (Rachel McAdams) and Gloria (Isla Fisher).

Superbad

Superbad (2007)
Greg Mottola’s Superbad, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (responsible for 2013’s This Is the End), stars Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as teenagers who lament their poor social standing and, of course, their virginity. Obtaining a fake ID, Fogell (Mintz-Plasse) successfully buys alcohol for a party they were invited to by Emma Stone’s Jules. What ensues is a debauched night of drinking, drug-taking and sexual mishaps.

Role Models (2008)
Role Models stars Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott as two energy drink reps whose wild behaviour forces them to enrol in a community service program which sees them tasked with being role models to two kids. Showing they have hearts, and forging genuine affections for the kid they’re paired with, the two still manage to get up to no good during several raucous set-pieces – one standout scene taking place on a scouting trip!

The Hangover

The Hangover (2009)
The two films that followed it may have dipped in quality, but the first Hangover film was a stellar naughty comedy which saw a group of males (led by Bradley Cooper, alongside Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis) head to Las Vegas to celebrate their best friend’s wedding. Having a night to remember, they awake the next morning to have forgotten almost everything, including why one is missing, why one has lost a tooth and why there is a Tiger in their bathroom…

The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)
Take a small-time E4 comedy series set in a fictional town in England and put it on the big screen and set it in Crete and apparently you get a recipe for blockbusting success. Obviously, this is down to writers Damon Beesley and Iain Morris and the Inbetweeners themselves: Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas), Jay (James Buckley) and Neil (Blake Harrison). After completing their final year at school together, the four head on a party holiday where misadventures follow – as well as laughs. Lots of laughs.

The Stag (2014)
The Stag follows a group of males who attend an adventurous bachelor party weekend in Ireland, which takes some unexpected detours throughout. Led by Sherlock’s Andrew Scott, the laugh0out-lod comedy enabled him to showcase a softer side, playing the adorable, charming best man to Hugh O’Conor’s groom. Displaying a natural aptitude for comedy, Scott was roundly praised for his performance, and the film displays far more depth and heart than the average ‘bachelor weekend’ film.

The Stag is released on digital platforms from July 7 and on Blu-ray and DVD from the July 21 courtesy of Arrow Films.