The Hangover is one of those movies with a simple archetypal storyline that many - if not most - viewers can relate to (or at least be highly entertained by). Engagements, bachelor parties, Vegas, mayhem, Mike Tyson and a feisty naked Asian guy? Sounds like the typical pattern of young middle class male adults - just with a dash of fantastical ridiculousness that makes the story big screen-worthy. It's probably one of the few straightforward comedies in recent years; most self-proclaimed "comedies" lately seem to turn in to melancholy sap stories about three-quarters through.
This piece from the Atlantic points out that Americans may get fewer comedy movies if Hollywood fails to sell overseas:
Why would we care what the silly—possibly, it is whispered—corruptible foreign press thinks, you might ask? Because the huge omission of comedy represents the "not getting" of our comedies overseas, and the overseas markets more and more drive what is getting made in America. Believe me, international was always important. Always a big part of our studio slates; they drive our tent pole action movies, our Terminators and Transformers. Even misfires like The A-Team are made for international consumption (where they almost make their money back) even more than domestic. But these days, international distribution drives the rationale of most of studio decision making and is at the basis of the economics, even of indies. If they don't get it overseas these days, the movie will be much much harder to get made, if not impossible. Period. Start of crisis.While the concept of "the international" has become increasingly important in the entertainment industry (though I would say it goes for the majority of industries at this point), the equation above simply doesn't go far enough for me. Sure, we'll get fewer funny flicks if they fail to resonate with audiences abroad - and of course, the best movies will have The Hangover-like archetypal patterns that are recognized by viewers globally. But when these same foreign audiences, which are quickly becoming increasingly culturally savvy in multidimensional ways, begin to turn their backs on the usual mediocre Hollywood films that are so accustomed to fulfilling a once-easy equation...that is when the big studios will truly be challenged (or finally forced) to deliver quality movies, no matter the genre.
Keep it simple, unless you can handle otherwise!