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Heather Graham's hangover

June 15, 2009 |  2:05 pm

I had two questions after seeing "The Hangover." First, where did the chicken come from? We know how they got ahold of Mike Tyson's tiger, but we never got the back story on that chicken clucking around the hotel suite.

HGRAHAM My second question: Why is Heather Graham again playing the good girl on the wrong side of the tracks with the heart of gold? Wasn't she supposed to be beyond that by now? The actress, who's still best known as "Rollergirl" from 1997's "Boogie Nights," has about 10 minutes of screen time in "The Hangover" as Jade, the hooker with a baby who marries Ed Helms' dentist, Stu Price. While it's a sweet little part, it's hardly what one would have anticipated for her after "Boogie Nights" and "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me."

Since first gaining notoriety in 1989's "Drugstore Cowboy" as ... wait for it ... a good girl on the wrong side of tracks, Graham has straddled the line between commercial releases and indie films with little success in either genre. Either she or her management are doing a bad job of picking projects. Lately they seem to also have gotten just plain lazy. Over the last two years, she has done two pregnancy-themed comedies: 2007's "Miss Conception" and this year's straight-to-DVD clunker "Baby on Board." Efforts to cross over to TV have also fallen short, most notably when ABC pulled her sitcom "Emily's Reasons Why Not" after one episode.

Stars rise, fall and rise again all the time, and Graham has worked steadily over the last 20 years, which is no small feat in this industry. She still can light up any scene she's in, which makes her career track all the more baffling.

Not as baffling, though, as where that chicken came from.

— Joe Flint

Photo: Heather Graham. Credit: Frank Masi, Warner Bros.