Since I’m not analyzing the movie, here is a brief summary:
A group of friends go to Las Vegas for a bachelor’s party. They wake up the next morning with the groom nowhere to be found and no recollection of the entire night. In their quest to find the groom, they recall all the crazy things they did and become even closer. They find the groom. The end.
The Hangover in 5 sentences! If you have not seen The Hangover yet, here is a link to the IMDB synopsis.
During the movie we are introduced to…well at first we don’t know who he is, but I’ll give you a hint: it’s Ken Jeong. Unfortunately this was the best quality clip I could find…so please ignore that the Youtube video is called “Asian in Trunk of Car”…
If your immediate response is something along the lines of, “Um…what just happened?” Then you and I had the same reaction. Let’s analyze shall we? *cue CSI theme song*
Before we even know that there’s a person in the trunk, Ken Jeong is introduced by Alan who finds a pair of black shoes in the back seat. To which Phil asks if they are “women’s shoes”. Ding ding ding! We have our first piece of evidence that Ken Jeong portrays an emasculated Asian American male in the movie, and it is less than subtle. Stu goes on to describe the shoes are size 6. What exactly is he implying by stating the shoe size? Come on people, I know you all know the myth that the size of a man’s shoe correlates to the size of a man’s penis (which, in case you didn’t know, is completely untrue). And according to the internet, the average American male’s shoe size is 10 and a half. So we already have this image of a man with a teeny-tiny penis, thus castrating Jeong before we even meet him.
When we finally do see Ken Jeong, he’s naked! Does he being naked makes this scene comical? Or is it the fact that when he jumps out of the trunk, his penis is in Phil’s face? Or is it because he ends up running away? It’s probably a combination of all the above, but whether we’re laughing at his nakedness, his homoerotic encounter with Phil, or the way he runs away from the fight, we’re all laughing at the same thing – the emasculation of the character.
As stated earlier, I’m not analyzing the entire movie…so let’s skip to the end!
The photo above is from Ken Jeong’s final scene in The Hangover. This is the scene we finally learn Jeong’s character’s name.
“We didn’t get your name last night.” –Stu
“Mr. Chow…Leslie Chow.” – Chow
Leslie? My first reaction was, “Isn’t that a girl’s name?” So being a young adult who grew up with search engines that can answer any question I may have, I googled “the name Leslie”. The first hit, http://www.thinkbabynames.com, told me that Leslie is typically a girl’s name (go ahead and try it, google “the name Leslie”).
If his name isn’t emasculating enough, let’s take a closer look at the above picture. What is Jeong wearing? He has on white pants, a glitter gold track jacket, oversized glasses, and lots of jewelry. What’s with the color scheme? The oversized glasses are reminiscent of a pair of women’s glasses, and he is wearing an excessive amount of jewelry. People are paid a lot of money to dress and accessorize actors for movies. They are not paid to dress actors in what looks good, but rather to dress them to represent the character they are portraying. Who is Ken Jeong portraying here? Apparently he’s portraying a man with feminine clothing and accessories.
Let’s look at the picture one last time? Is there anything we missed? Oh yeah, his body language and hand placement – popped hip and “soft” hands (as a ballerina would call them) – which only further perpetuate the effeminate portrayal of Mr. Chow.
In arguably Ken Jeong’s most famous role as an actor, Jeong portrays Mr. Chow as a feminine Asian male and thus perpetuating the emasculated Asian American figure.