Imagine if The Hangover movies had a hangover? That's the vibe from this slightly-less-dark (but also less funny) French tale of pre-marital debaucher, Budapest (streaming on Netflix). Based, though I'm sure loosely, on a true story, Budapest is a rags-to-riches tale -- but it isn't really about money. It's more about believing in yourself. Especially if "yourself" means having women fling themselves at your feet. France!

Two best buds, Arnaud (Jonathan Cohen) and Vincent (co-writer Manu Payet), are grinding through mid-level corporate gigs, never quite earning respect. They are good business people, but from lower-class backgrounds, and dubbed "scholarship kids." It has been 10 years since their MBAs and they still get ignored at meetings and, even worse, can't get past the velvet rope at cool Parisian clubs. "We must break our chains, like Django!" is a prime example of the type of politically incorrect jokes made regularly in this film.

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Arnaud gets served a humiliating diss when his reservation for a pal's bachelor party is rejected, and he is left wondering where "normal" guys like him can still get treated like an Emperor -- feted by hot women without having loads of bread. The answer, after chatting with a stripper, is clear: Budapest.

The idea is to organize "stag parties" for French bros who don't want to plan anything. He and Vincent go on a fact-finding mission that presents the Hungarian capital city as a Wild West of hedonism and corrupt behavior. But, you know, charming. You wanna sleep with a beautiful woman? No problem, here's my wife. You wanna ride around in a tank and blow crap up? No sweat, we've got lots of leftover Eastern bloc hardware. You wanna kill a guy for sport? What? Uh, yeah, yeah, just joking.

The humor in Budapest is often profane and may offend -- certainly, a Hungarian or two may take issue with some of the jokes as might many others from different backgrounds. (One jaw-dropper, when trying to bond with the locals over famous movie stars, is a toast to Mel Gibson with a cheer of "anti-Semitism, good!") But the snappy and playful editing begs you not to take it too seriously. Our heroes are presented as the last two "good guys" left in France, which, in the movie's terms, means it takes lots and lots of temptation for them to finally break down and cheat on their wives.

Arnaud's wife Audrey (Alix Poisson) comes from wealthy stock (her father owns the business Arnaud quit) and is a typical ballon-briseuse who loves to nag and gripe. But every fight ends in laughter. There's a little bit of realism and warmth in this dopey comedy.

Audrey's initial 100K investment is what gets the operation started. Vincent and his wife, Ccile (Alice Belaïdi), have a caring, honest and playful marriage (they play video games together!) so it's somewhat heartbreaking that he's first to succumb to Mitteleuropea's lustful haze. (Though there does seem to be a spark between he and the singer at the designer drug club.)

These dramatic speed bumps work themselves out nicely, so the bulk of the picture is focused on "you won't believe what happens next" high-jinks. There are smashed cars, hijacked buses, ecstasy freak-outs and lots of French dudes grabbing each other's genitalia for a laugh. When the company is really cooking, the pair come up with some ludicrous activities. My favorite is "Chased By Dogs!" in which you wear protective clothing and let barking canines attack you (and, my God, it is very much a real thing.)

Arnaud and Vincent's main liaison to Budapest's underworld, Georgio (Monsieur Poulpe, a very popular comedian in France) has got something of a Gallic Tom Green vibe, which I mean in a positive way. He's gangly and ridiculous and is in his underwear more than you'd think. He's able to say some truly vile things but somehow make it sound cute. Maybe something is gained in translation.

Despite the bad behavior, Budapest is light fare. Which means it goes down easy but also isn't too memorable. Surprisingly, the director is Xavier Gens, best known for the gross-out horror movie Frontier(s), dour apocalypse drama The Divide and the video game adaptation Hitman. Though Budapest is hardly a masterpiece (and has almost no location photography to speak of, for any Magyarphiles that may be reading) it's definitely the top destination Gens has to offer.

Jordan Hoffman is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, whose work has appeared in The Guardian, VanityFair.com, amNewYork, Thrillist and Times of Israel.

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