Movie Review: Rough Night is Crazy and Confused

Movie Review: Rough Night is Crazy and Confused
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Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville nearly 20 years. Currently, he studies Journalism at Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Rough Night is an appropriate name for the new sadistic crime comedy film out this weekend – because that’s exactly what it is. Debut writer/director Lucia Aniello has taken some very funny performers and made a story that’s uneven, ridiculous, and feels like it might take all night to get through the darn thing.

The premise of “bachelorette party gone wrong” is nothing special, nor is their a poignant idea why this movie should exist. This is the girls’ answer to the successful Hangover trilogy of R-rated party movies (so remember how quick that series turned dark and painfully boring.)

Having the women tell the same story isn’t the problem. In fact, they’re often funnier and more interesting characters than the men are. The reason Rough Night falls flat is because it’s so implausible and mean, and there’s zero originality in the party mishaps.

Even after seeing it, I’m not entirely sure what the movie was about. It starts as bachelorette party in Miami with five old college friends. The death of a male stripper is the catalyst for the ladies to panic, but then the plot gets so crazy it’s impossible to follow what’s going on between the five of them.

There are almost a dozen short, unnecessary subplots, and they’re nothing but useless baggage. Worse still, some of them have giant loose ties by the end. Without spoiling too much, some things I asked include “What happened to the diamonds? Where did the detectives go? Or how about the jolly sex-crazed neighbours?”

Photo: Columbia Pictures.

Absolutely nothing on screen is realistic. If any of this really happened instead of being in a summer comedy, these girls would be arrested or dead within two hours, let alone a whole day. After the tenth useless, unlucky turn, the best question might be “How obviously stupid can these people be?”

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The ensemble cast is hit-or-miss. Some comics like star Scarlett Johnasson and SNL darling Kate McKinnon are dynamite, with great improvised zingers and charm. Others, like Ilana Glazer and Jillian Bell, are both annoying and shallow at best. At worst, they appear juvenile or nasty.

Maybe the funniest part of the movie is the guys night, where they have a (contradictory) calm and civilized bachelor weekend at the same time. A shout out is also well earned for an amazing side character by comedy musician Bo Burnham, play the best man a little too into his red wine.

The first half of 2017 has been noticeably bad for R-rated comedies, and this continues the trend. If you’re looking for the go-to girls night out at the movies, see the fabulous war biopic Megan Leavey or Wonder Woman instead. If you’re determined to see comedy, pick the hysterically silly Baywatch.

I’ll confess, there were several moments and lines where I heartily laughed. This isn’t a complete disaster like fellow girl-power comedy Snatched was last month, but it’s a rough night at the movies for sure. And with better choices playing, this is a party better left for the hardcore crowd.

Rough Night
2 out of 4 stars

14A, 101 minutes. Crime Comedy.
Written and Directed by Lucia Aniello.
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Kate McKinnon and Paul W. Downs.
Now Playing at Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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