Skip to main content

'Rough Night', Bad Movie: Review

Film Review: Rough Night

Image result for rough night posterThe plot of Rough Night concerns a group of friends, led by Scarlett Johansson, who while celebrating a bachelorette party end up accidentally killing a stripper. It’s an audacious premise and one that a movie could have probably mined for laughs. But that movie isn’t the uninspired and only sporadically funny Rough Night. Continuing the trend of recent female-led raunchy ensemble comedies like Bridesmaids, Bachelorette, and the upcoming Girls Trip, Rough Night seemed to be different as this one also had a woman behind the camera, director and cowriter Lucia Aniello. But it’s also notable for taking the concept much, much farther, unless I’m forgetting a scene in Bridesmaids where they snort cocaine and then kill multiple people. It's certainly a watchable movie, it’s full of funny people saying kind of funny things. But the places it goes are ultimately incongruous to a comedy like this.

Johansson has been in comedies before (like Woody Allen’s Scoop) but she is not really known for her comedic talents. Rough Night isn’t going to change that. She’s great as the glue holding the group of wacky characters together, but those looking for proof that Scarlett Johansson is funny will have to look elsewhere. The real MVP is Kate McKinnon, who, with this and last year’s Ghostbusters, has a real talent for being the best part of otherwise disappointing summer comedies. Jillian Bell plays a role that I would have liked to see Rebel Wilson play, probably because I have never found Bell to be very funny. Likewise, I didn’t find Ilana Glazer or her character to be funny. Zoe Kravitz, who was so good in Big Little Lies, fares slightly better despite her underwritten character. The film’s other cowriter, Paul W. Downs, amusingly appears as the fiancee of Johansson’s character. Ty Burrell and Demi Moore, of all people, are featured in a weird subplot that never quite takes off. 


There's something intriguing about a room full of women and them killing a man who enters it, but Aniello never figures out something to say about it. Rough Night alternates between a black comedy and a sentimental tale about friendship, and it ultimately settles on the latter, which makes the black comedy stuff feel very out of place. In fact, the movie bizarrely chooses to retroactively rationalize everything that happened before and in the end rewards its character for their pretty terrible behavior. The ultimate message of the movie is ‘do whatever you want as long as you stay in touch with your friends from college’, which would be a dumb message for any movie, especially one that once seemed daring and ambitious. 

What did YOU think of Rough Night? Let me know in the comments below!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Eighth Annual Timmy Television Awards

The Timmys annually honor the best in television from the past season. Here are the nominees from the 2017-18 television season (winners are in bold):

Best Comedy Series:
Mom(CBS)Great News (NBC)Shameless (Showtime)Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix)The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)Best Drama Series: Stranger Things (Netflix)Killing Eve (BBC America)This Is Us (NBC)The Crown (Netflix)Rise (NBC)Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Drew Barrymore - Santa Clarita DietRachel Brosnahan - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Allison Janney - MomAnna Farris - MomSutton Foster - YoungerLogan Browning - Dear White PeopleBest Actor in a Comedy Series: William H. Macy - ShamelessTimothy Olyphant - Santa Clarita DietDonald Glover - AtlantaLarry David - Curb Your EnthusiasmIain Armitage - Young SheldonBest Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Andrea Martin - Great NewsNicole Richie - Great NewsAlex Borstein - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Megan Mullally - Will & GraceMeredith Hagner - Search PartyBest Supporting Actor in …

"Death on the Nile" Hits Theaters in 2019: Here's my Dream Cast

Following the success of Kenneth Branagh's film of Murder on the Orient Express, it was announced that a follow-up would be released on December 20, 2019. This time Branagh will direct and star in an adaptation of Christie's 1937 novel Death on the Nile. I loved that novel when I read it many years ago, and although I'd prefer to see Branagh adapt a Poirot novel that has not already gotten the big-screen treatment (like Death in the Clouds or Cards on the Table), I am looking forward to seeing a new interpretation. It's about a murder that occurs on a luxury steamer that is traveling down the Nile River in Egypt. Naturally, all the passengers are suspects. Since no casting information aside from Branagh has been announced, I thought I'd share some of my dream casting choices. 

For the role of Simon Doyle - Dan Stevens The former Dowton Abbey star is no stranger to period pieces and would be perfect fit for Simon Doyle, the new husband of Linnet Ridgeway and ex-finace…

Ranking the "Mission: Impossible" Films Worst to Best

The Mission: Impossible movies, based on the 1966-73 television series, are about Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force doing something that seems impossible at first, but always ends up being possible. Tom Cruise stars in all the films as Ethan, and other members of the team are Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg). I like the Mission: Impossible movies because each film has a different director and thus each one has their own distinctive feel. Sure, there are a couple of constants (Cruise is in them all, they all are spy/action movies, and they all have people wearing masks - a nod to the TV show), but going into a Mission: Impossible movie you are never quite sure what you are going to get. Sometimes it's a silly fun spy franchise, other times it feels like nothing more than an excuse for Tom Cruise do to some sort of crazy stunt. Since the first film was released in 1996, there have been five movies, with a sixth on the way. Here's how I would rank the movies …