No CU “Hangover” for Scott Moore

Scott Moore speaks to a CU Independent reporter. Moore is a co-writer for the hit comedy "The Hangover," and is a CU alum. (CU Independent/Ilana Finer)
Scott Moore speaks to a CU Independent reporter. Moore is a co-writer for the hit comedy "The Hangover," and is a CU alum. (CU Independent/Ilana Finer)

The writer of one of the most bawdy comedies of the year says he has another side.

“I’m here to talk about serious filmmaking,” said screenwriter Scott Moore jokingly to the packed audience in Muenzinger Auditorium Saturday night.

Moore, co-writer of “The Hangover” and CU alumnus, had traveled from his home in Tinsel Town back to his alma mater for a screening and Q & A session about the film. It’s the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time.

Moore gave advice and insight to the curious crowd about his experiences at CU.

“College is really a good place to try different things—you’re looking for a career that you might do for the rest of your life,” Moore said. “I do like math and science but I realized this isn’t my number one choice; the thing I gravitated to was film, my passion.”

Moore graduated from CU in 1989 as an economics major. While CU did not offer a film major at the time Moore attended, he did manage to follow his passion. The film classes at CU allowed Moore to experiment and try anything he wanted. Upon graduation, Moore moved to Los Angeles where he worked without pay for Disney before selling his first script for a small amount of money.

He worked production jobs before he discovered he could make a living off of screenwriting. Other movies students may recognize that Moore has worked on include “Four Christmases,” “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” and “Full of It.”

Moore shed some advice on making it in Hollywood through his own experiences.

“Treat it like a job. I bump into a lot of people [in the industry], I ask them what they’ve written, they say nothing, and that they are waiting for their muse to hit,” Moore said. “You have to write every day. You have to treat it like a job.”

Moore was working for years before he recently found success with “The Hangover.”  Though he and his writing partner, Jon Lucas, thought that bachelor parties were “cheesy,” they were looking for a job and decided to take on the challenge.

“Vegas is cheesy, bachelor parties have been done over again, a lot of it’s about the execution,” Moore said.

Moore smiled and laughed as he reminisced back to his college days at CU. CU’s party school reputation has since mellowed down but he said he might have drawn upon some of his college experiences for the film.

Ultimately, none of the characters or scenes in the film are specifically based on any real-life people, he said, which makes the script an original creation. While certain rumors circulate throughout Hollywood regarding the basis of “The Hangover,” Moore said he and Lucas wrote an original script.

“Waking up after a crazy night and being mortified by what you did is probably more common that it should be,” Moore said.  “A half dozen people actually think the movie is based on their lives. But it’s not. Truth is Jon and I heard New Line was looking for a bachelor party movie, we needed a job, and so we came up with the idea of doing a bachelor party movie without ever showing the party.”

While many college students can relate to this familiar “blacking out” party scenario, it is ultimately the shock factor and plot progression that sets this movie apart from others.

CU students expressed their opinions post-screening, some of them after seeing it for the second or third time. During the credits, the audience stopped in their tracks to watch the shocking slideshow at the end. The jaw-dropping photos ranging from strippers to a realistic-looking blowjob (it was performed on a prosthetic penis) led to a laughter-filled auditorium.

“I loved it!” said Maggie Dawson, a freshman MCD biology major.

Other students said they agree.

“It’s amazing.  When I walked out of the theatre everyone was still laughing,” said Kelley Haun, a junior political science major.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Morgan Presson at

CU Independent

The CU Independent, or CUI for short, is the student news outlet for the University of Colorado at Boulder. We cover news, sports, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment and more. Our mission is to provide news and commentary that's for students and by students — about the things we care about.

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