• Guy Jeffries

Rough Night Review


Director: Lucia Aniello.

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Kate McKinnon, Zoë Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, Paul W. Downs.

First thing that sprung to mind when I saw the trailer was, oh, looks like a female version of Hangover or another Bridesmaids and then I saw the trailer for Girls Trip and thought the same thing. And this is a prime example of trailers leading you up the garden path or, setting possibly similar films up against one another. Having seen Girls Trip, trying not to compare was inescapable.

The second thing that came to mind was funny films like Weekend at Bernie's and Men at Work where the main characters would chaperone a cadaver around pretending it's still alive and getting themselves into such awkward and funny situations. Alas, it's none of the above, or it falls short on all counts and just focuses on the ladies and their relationships with one another.

I have to keep in mind that this is Aniello's main feature debut after her many shorts and TV Episodes, so she's doing something right. But it's not really seen here and there isn't much room for excuses seeing that it's also written by her, alongside co-star Downs. It probably sounded more funnier at the time of conceiving, but what we actually end up with is a ridiculous and unbelievable story.

Much like Girls Trip, a group of college girls, all from representing different and extreme personalities, reunite after a few years to celebrate Jess's (Johansson) hen weekend. As the trailer gives away, a stripper is involved and unfortunately is accidentally killed resulting, in what should be, a hilarious chain of events. Another thing it has in common with Girls Trip, is the poor title. I would love to see the alternative names they went through to end up with Rough Night.

I suppose Johannsson has taken a break from all the serious action films she's been doing and has done this maybe under contract or just to do something different and fun. It's certainly not her usual Black Widow self, but she does seem at ease with her part. The rest of the performances are between weak to absolutely terrible, and the best actor award goes to Ryan Cooper, who actually acts really well going from an uncomfortable stripper to the level you don't believe he is one, to being the dead guy for the rest of the movie.

As for the rest of the cast, well I suppose the characters were nearly balanced, well enough to make the film central to Johansson's character of running for Senate. Bell plays the same she always does, in fact, she was an irresponsible teacher in Fist Fight too! I wonder! Nope, just checked, different names. Interestingly, Bell does her usual quirky, stupidness yet they tone down McKinnon's part. Maybe she too, wanted a break of goofy around, but we all know she's amazing at it, and having her a film is part of the selling point. Glazer is the part-time, unhinged activist whilst Kravitz, does very little apart from getting aquatinted with the lustful neighbours. As for the Husband to be, well...

I just found it annoying for the majority, but found myself agreeing with some of it; with the role reversals of stag and hen dos, where it's the ladies who behave outrageously and the blokes now being the more sensitive, sensible kind. (Having sold wine for a good ten years, a wine tasting would be right up my street, though I would properly aim to get barred.)

Weak cliched script that might have looked funny on paper but doesn't transcribe to the screen. It actually rips off a lot of the recent comedies, like the slow-mo sequence of the men buying adult nappies, a ridiculous take of Bad Moms doing their drink shopping and the dance club didn't have anything on the Class Act of Girls Trip. Even the soundtrack just feels too typical to get hyped about.

There's even a poor attempt at being some heart into with story by having the friends fall out and discovery friendship which is too predictable and happens too late in the film for us to care. The characters are more annoying than relatable by the time we're suppose to care about them.

You might think, "well, it because you saw Girls Trip first" but no, whilst they have similarities, they're go down different journeys and Girls Trip worked fulfilling it's goal about the importance of friendship, it's actually stuck with me. But this is nothing but a mess of something that could have been funnier.

Running Time: 4

The Cast: 5

Performance: 3

Direction: 3

Story: 2

Script: 2

Creativity: 2

Soundtrack: 2

Job Description: 1

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

24% 2/10

#LuciaAniello #ScarlettJohansson #JillianBell #KateMcKinnon #ZoëKravitz #IlanaGlazer #PaulWDowns #TyBurrell #DemiMoore #EnriqueMurciano #DeanWinters #KaranSoni #BoBurnham #HasanMinhaj #EricAndré #DominicLewis #RyanCooper