It’s BAD MOMS meets VERY BAD THINGS meets WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S meets THE HANGOVER… PART III! The ladies will LOVE it!
Lucia Aniello’s ROUGH NIGHT is an absolutely frustrating experience because it is better than it has any right to be — while also being a near-complete waste of the talent involved.
Forced shock value humor and accidental murder occurs when a group of friends from college reunite for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Scarlett Johansson stars as Jess; the soon-to-be bride who has to deal with an overbearing best friend (Jillian Bell), two underwritten pals who used to date (Zoe Kravitz and Ilana Glazer), a dead stripper, and Kate McKinnon.
ROUGH NIGHT is, simply, a mediocre film that isn’t always sure of what type of movie it should be. The comedy falls flat far too often, and the tonal shift that occurs in the second act is more jarring than anything. The greatest offense, however, is that the characters never feel like real people — with the second-greatest being the film’s apparent fear of living up to its outrageous premise.
This is Jillian Bell’s third movie in a row (following OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY and FIST FIGHT), in just over a span of six months, where she plays the exact same foul-mouthed, sex-addicted character who gets extremely cheap laughs by being as inappropriate as possible.
Zoe Kravitz was given slightly more to work with than Ilana Glazer, but neither actress was able to shine here. As a result, their romantic storyline feels less flat than it does virtually non-existent.
And Kate McKinnon.
For a movie about a group of women, it’s a little surprising that a great deal of screen time is spent on Paul W. Downs (BROAD CITY)… until you notice that he is billed as Aniello’s co-screenwriter. Even though most of the biggest laughs are provided by him, it feels like Downs may have written himself into the movie a bit too much.
There are a few laughs to be had, but ROUGH NIGHT is a half-baked film that goes nowhere fast.
Two out of Five Beers.