This review was written by Anthony J Digioia. Follow him and his website here for more awesome reviews: SilverScreen Analysis
“Rough Night” stars; Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Zoë Kravitz, Jillian Bell and Ilana Glazer. This one is directed by Lucia Aniello and follows a bachelorette party gone wrong when a group of old friends meet up for some fun before one of them gets married and they accidentally kill a stripper. Over the course of the night they decide what to do with this body, whether or not they should go to the police, and of course they run into plenty of obstacles along the way.
Now I will be honest I had no expectations for this film after watching the trailer. For two reasons. First, it looked like nothing more than a collection of comedic bits that had been done before with the usual regurgitated jokes. Second, one of my favorite dark comedies is “Very Bad Things” from 1998 which this film was a clear copy of. “Very Bad Things” worked because it went all in on the dark comedy, used a clever and witty delivery, and in the end created a memorable film.
From the trailers for this one I knew that this one would be nothing more than that premise slapped together with the usual raunch-com template. Which in the end, is exactly what “Rough Night” turned out to be. So, let’s talk about the positives. The chemistry from the cast was solid. They all had a good rapport with one another and their performances did blend together well. They certainly had fun in their roles and it did translate well onscreen. Another fun part of this movie was the smaller performances of Ty Burrell and Demi Moore. They play the creepy, eccentric couple next door to the house the girls are staying at and they land the memorable laughs of this movie.
But neither their small characters, or the chemistry between the cast were enough to cover the clear lack of ambition this script showed in trying to create anything new. This entire film was a borrowed plot, with borrowed ideas from other films added to it and nothing about it felt new or fresh.
So, with no real inspiration of its own, you just sit through it. Always knowing the characters will be fine, and that everything will conveniently work out. Now this wouldn’t be a complete killer but with a barrage of recycled crude humor draped over it, there is nothing of substance to carry the entertainment at all.
Yes, there are some chuckles, and a handful of mild laughs. But nothing memorable or consistent enough to keep the run-time from feeling twice as long as it was. Also, Jillian Bell was relentless, and her performance was extremely fatiguing as she never takes her foot of the gas of her usual shtick. None of the characters had any personality of their own and in the end, they were cut-and-paste character-types and nothing you can invest in. Despite none of the performances hindering the film other than Bell’s.
Now, finding little to no fun in this comedy has nothing to do with the female cast. As much as it has to do with the recycled script. You could take five of the biggest male names in comedy and put them in this movie, and the result would still be the same. A generic comedy with all borrowed concepts and nothing creative of its own. It could have been much better if it had something unique to offer. But with it being such a retread of past films, we have already seen this movie before, many times.