Release Date: June 16, 2017
Director: Lucia Aniello
Writer: Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Zoe Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon, Paul W. Downs, Ryan Cooper, Ty Burrell, Demi Moore, Enrique Murciano, Dean Winters, Colton Haynes, Patrick Carlyle, Eric Andre, Bo Burnham, Hasan Minhaj, Karan Soni, Laura Grey, Mark Tallman, Grant Monohon, Yoni Lotan, Christopher Caldwell, Daniel Raymont, Carlos Ibarra, Madison Arnold, Gina Cottone, Dorothi Fox
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 101 minutes
Production Company: Paulilu Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)
How does one of the most memorable nights of fun and pleasure that you could possibly imagine turn into a fright fest of horrors that you can’t escape? Murdering a stripper while you’re high on drugs is how, which is the pickle these five friends found themselves in! There’s been a few movies with the same premise that have debuted over the past few decades, but now first-time director Lucia Aniello wanted to take her swing at the material with all her style and flavor. With a popular, well-known cast, this film is certain to gain your attention, but with familiar material what’s the point of rehashing what’s been done before (even though that’s nearly all films today)? Delivering the laughs is the point. This film is marketed as a comedy, as it should be. If you’re interested in a deep seeded plot that will inspire you to do wonderful things, keep searching. Though even after viewing, if you’re on the fence on recommending it to others don’t feel guilty, because every two laughs the cast brings on, another makes a horrible plot decision frustrating you to no end.
What’s great within the plot early on is it didn’t rush to the adventure to see women get plastered and then make you assume these women are friends because the film told you so. The opening scenes have meaning later in the film that elevates the experience once things are getting heated. It’s believable too, regarding the conversations that led to their expedition. Jess (Scarlett Johansson) has her head on straight with a future in politics, Alice (Jillian Bell) is the wild crazy friend that brings life to the party, Frankie (Ilana Glazer) is a hypocritical free-spirited bird that doesn’t think twice, Kiwi/Pippa (Kate McKinnon) is just odd, and Blair (Zoe Kravitz) is a straightforward yet disappointing character. Blair is a letdown due to her character not having anything positive going for her except to be passed around like a tossup. The rest of the friends aren’t perfect angels either, but their actions fit their personality. They didn’t have Blair do anything but look pretty in a role that doesn’t suit her. While Kiwi is funny at times, she’s playing the exact same role she did last year in Ghostbusters, which is make silly faces while tilting your head towards the camera. Everyone else fit their roles as you would expect.
What’s unforgivable though is some of the decisions the characters made while trying to cover their tracks. Whether you’re a professional criminal or born yesterday, whether you’ve seen it on TV or heard it through the grapevine, moving a dead body is the ultimate no no during a crime scene. I feel everyone should know this by default. The predicament these ladies were in could’ve easily been explained to the authorities, making them as innocent as they should be, but the writing team decided to not use common sense. The reason behind it makes it even worse. If pizza is being delivered, crack the door and pay or go outside to pay. There’s no reason to move the body. There’s no amount of panic that would cause a sane person to ignore these instructions, but again I guess the writer got sleepy and rushed to the printer. There’s a few more WTF moments like this throughout the film that make you want to bang your head against the ground, yet the film goes on. It’s not clear why driving across the country in diapers so you won’t have to stop to urinate is a smart move, but forgetting you have to get out of the car anyway for gas is completely ignored. I could go on and on, but fortunately either before or after these moronic decisions are made one if not all of the characters are acting up and making you laugh until the end.
So, the characters may not be the sharpest in the bunch, and some of the plot devices are not thought through, but seeing the entire cast run around is hilarious. You can’t help yourself but laugh from beginning to end. There aren’t many jokes, but there are funny real life moments you possibly could relate to, which is rich in comedy. This film is filled with one of the most boring bachelor parties you could think of, but seeing the men enjoy it unforgivably is at times funnier than the women’s bachelorette party, which is supposed to steal the show. The guys are just being themselves, and for some reason that works with them all being innocent men who just want to help. The funniest in the bunch is Alice, whom most audience members will be able to relate to. We all have that one friend who always takes it too far, but you still love them and might even take a bullet for them. Even with the predictable fall out between friends in a three-act film structure, it still had substance when Alice and Jess hit a crossroad. And it’s the warm moment they share that makes the overall experience worth it.
Rough Night isn’t a classic film that will be remembered for all time, but it’s not meant to be either. If you’re a fan of the cast and want a good laugh, then you’re in the right place. Even though some of the details within the plot are sour, the comedy makes up for it in the end. While the story plays on, and feels like it’s coming to an end, the plot continues to thicken piquing your interest more from moments before. Not knowing how it would end, it’s ending is respectable, and you won’t see it coming. At the same time it is not shocking either. It’s just a raunchy R-Rated comedy that makes a good escape for a good hour and a half.