Rough Night (2017)
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Kate McKinnon, Zoë Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, Paul W. Downs
Directed by: Lucia Aniello
Written by: Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs
Rating: R Running Time: 1 hr 41 min.
My 2 Cents:
Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is getting married, and takes off for Florida with her BFFs from college to celebrate her bachelorette party. It’s an evening filled with fun, booze, and then drugs, and oh yes, the accidental killing of the guy they hired to strip for them!
So, for this kind of comedy of errors to work, for me at least, the end of act one should credibly set up the rest of the film. Do all the main characters react in a way that makes sense? And do the actions they take following the death of the stripper, seem reasonable? The answer to that question in regards to Rough Night is, mostly. Which was a relief as a lot of mainstream Hollywood comedies lately have just been contrived disasters (Tammy, Snatched, and Sex Tape are good/bad examples of this).
Rough Night is an entertaining comedy. The group chemistry works, the setup is plausible, and the jokes, either dialogue or physical, mostly land well and provoke a laugh. Your enjoyment of the film, however, will depend on how well you relate to the women as they work through the problem they’ve got, and the issues they have with each other.
On that front, I was okay with Scarlett Johansson’s Jess, Zoë Kravitz’s Blair, and Ilana Glazer’s Frankie. I was less entertained by the over-the-top actions of Jillian Bell’s Alice, and Kate McKinnon’s Pippa. The latter two being mostly overblown caricatures rather than actual people. I also found the dynamics between these characters very predictable, and the movie doesn’t work as well when the main plot is put aside to explore these elements. A sub-plot following the exploits of Paul W. Downs’ Peter (Jess’ fiancée), however, provided the biggest laughs for me.
All in all, I found this to be an entertaining diversion, but not a memorable one. The premise and execution work well enough, and this should entertain audiences that can identify with the five leading ladies at the heart of the story.