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

"My Mind Turns Your Life Into Folklore": Why Taylor Swift's "Gold Rush" Is a Song About Songwriting

"My mind turns your life into folklore." That line, from the song "Gold Rush," is the only time the word "folklore" is spoken on either of Taylor Swift's 2020 records, Folklore and Evermore , the latter of which is where the song appears. The presence of the line indicates that "Gold Rush" is a pivotal song not only in Swift's lockdown duology, but in her maturation as a songwriter.  Swift's early albums often drew heavily from her own experiences, with fans and the media scouring her lyrics for clues as to which ex-boyfriend her numerous breakup songs referred. Her tumultuous dating life made as many headlines as her music, in part because it informed so much of the music. The discourse was often ridiculous and reductive, and thankfully, that period of her career is over (Swift has been in a relationship with the actor Joe Alwyn since 2016).  Both of her 2020 albums have their fair share of autobiographical songs, but they also see

Netflix vs. HBO Max vs. Disney+ vs. Hulu: Streaming Services Ranked

The entertainment industry is at a moment of change. Resources that were once spent on TV networks and theatrical releases are being funneled into streaming services, as media conglomerates race to catch up with game-changing, industry-revolutionizing Netflix. The "streaming wars", the competition between the studios to sure up talent and content deals as they ask audiences to buy their monthly subscriptions, is in full swing.  One day, a book will be written about the streaming wars and it'll include a clear picture of which services crashed and burned and which ones emerged victorious. I look forward to reading that book and looking back on this moment in time with hindsight, but until that day, all I can do is offer my opinion on each service and say which ones I feel are worthy of your money and time. I'm only going to talk about the services that are directly vying to be the new Netflix, not niche ones like Shudder or the Criterion Channel. Also, a proper ranking

Vanessa Redgrave in "Camelot": Review

Classic Film Review: Camelot (1967) The following post is a part of the 2017 TCM Summer Under the Stars blogathon, hosted by  Journeys in Classic Film . In celebration of Vanessa Redgrave day on TCM (which will be showing her movies all day long August 14th), I decided to revisit one of my all time favorite movies, Camelot . The 1967 film is an adaptation of the 1960 musical of the same name by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. The musical, which was based on T.H. White's retelling of the Arthurian legend The Once and Future King , which was a huge box office success and won four Tony Awards. The original cast recording was the best selling record in the country for over a year. A movie version was inevitable.  That movie came seven years later. Directed by Joshua Logan, Camelot starred Richard Harris as King Arthur, Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevere and Franco Nero as Lancelot. When the King of England decides to use might for right and establish a new order of chival