Rough Night (2017): Review
Ever since Bridesmaids we get a least one comedy every summer that aims itself at a female audience. Most have something to do with a wedding and an ensemble of comedic women actresses. Sometimes we get solid films like Bad Moms or Girls Trip. Sometimes we don't. Rough Night falls into the middle of the pack.
Rough Night has a strong female dominated cast with Scarlett Johansson taking the lead role in comedy role that is now rare considering her profitability in a leading role over the last few years. Unfortunately 2017 hasn't been her year so far with Ghost in the Shell bombing pretty hard at the domestic box office. Johansson plays Jess, a bride to be who is well on her way to becoming a senator, who meets up with her old college friends for her bachelorette weekend. Jess' former roommate Alice (Jillian Bell) and their two former lesbian lover friends Blair (Zoe Kravitz) and Frankie (Ilana Glazer) join her in a trip to Miami. Jess' friend from Australia Pippa (Kate McKinnon) also joins into the fun later.
After a night of partying with cocaine the crew return to their rented Miami beach house where a stripper arrives to entertain them. When the stripper is accidently killed the girls have to find some way to part without the body without being caught. Similarities to The Hangover, Weekend at Bernie's, Bridesmaids and Peter Berg's Very Bad Things are all fairly obvious.
Unfortunately, the funniest jokes in Rough Night take place during the first 30 minutes of the film before the stripper dies. I was shocked how much I was laughing in the early minutes but it did start to fade a little bit as time went on. The death of the stripper did cause a dilemma I was seriously questioning how the women were going to find their way out of it. The cast consistently works though. I bought into their friendship. There are at least a little effort to avoid the cliché comedic characters. Johansson obviously plays the more uptight straight man/woman and Bell is the typical friend who never really grew up, but Bell is probably the funniest she's been since 22 Jump Street and I could forgive the character. Kate McKinnon is dialed down a little bit which I welcomed. She didn't have to carry as much of the comedic load as she has been forced to in other projects. I don't dislike her but I find that she often tries too hard.
Paul W. Downs, who plays Jess' nervous future husband nearly steals the movie (which made sense when I realize he was one of the writers). Downs own bachelor party shows that the men can be just as funny as the women but they don't get enough attention to steal the spotlight. The funniest spot in the whole film could actually be during the credits. A scene I nearly missed, but you shouldn't
Rough Night really starts to lose its grip in the final moments when it tries a little too hard to wrap up nicely. It starts to feel really disjointed and character start to appear that never really needed to be there in the first place making things just a little bit more complicated than they needed to be and the humor just doesn't stick around. Its definitely passable and if you're female you may be able to make more connections and have a little more fun that I did.
Rough Night gets 54 out of 100