Starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Zoë Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, Paul W. Downs, Colton Haynes, Ty Burrell, Demi Moore
As a reasonable human being, I don’t condone alcohol abuse, illegal drug use, or murder. Rough Night, the new film from writer/director Lucia Aniello promotes all of these things, and asks the audience to laugh at them. It’s curious that someone like Scarlett Johansson who stands up at the DNC and speaks so whole heartily for positivity would lend her celebrity to a film so vial. Of course, Rough Night doesn’t do anything The Hangover hasn’t already covered three sequels over, so why can’t there be a female version? There certainly can, I just expect more from these talented women. Rough Night is written for audiences who are easy to laugh, it’s low brow entertainment that’s scarcely funny. The audience members I saw and heard laughing at the screening, were the same ones treating the auditorium as their living room, shouting at the screen, commenting on each action and ruining whatever miserable experience the rest of us were having.
“It would mean so much to me, if we did a little cocaine together,” Alice (Bell) says to her best friend, bride to be Jess (Johansson). Reunited for the first time in three years, the girls from college get together in Miami for a weekend of bachelorette party antics. After a night of alcohol and illegal drug abuse, Frankie (Glazer) the lesbian, hippy, “F-the- police” friend, hires a male stripper. Before the sketchy looking guy can even get his pants off at their Miami beach rental, he is laying in a pile of blood, dead. The friends, including Pippa (McKinnon) fresh off a plane from Australia, decide to get rid of the body so Jess’s political career isn’t ruined and they don’t all go to jail for an accident. The night turns into a frantic string of miscalculations as the women only make things worse for themselves.
“Would some more cocaine make you feel better,” Jess says, trying to calm Alice. It’s curious that out of the few feature films I have seen Bell appear in, almost every character she plays is drug addicted. There is absolutely no effort from the makeup department to make the girls look ten years younger in the opening flashback. Different haircuts in the present are supposed to differentiate. Kravitz is doing a Jada Pinkett Smith impersonation with her character (and look). McKinnon is obviously channeling Toni Collette with that superb Australian accent. Haynes is thrown in the chaotic mix to please the gay audience, but his role is bizarre and makes little to no sense. Much like Burrell and Moore as swingers, who really have no bearing on the plot aside additional lackluster humor.
It’s a reprehensible comedy in every sense of the word. There are male genitalia jokes instead of well written humor. There are five women, and none of them ever suggest doing the right thing. Every character that knocks on their door isn’t who they appear, we recognize this, the hints are not very subtle, yet the characters are portrayed as imbeciles so the film can continue. It’s as obnoxious as it is nauseating watching at least two extremely talented movie stars waste their ability on something so mindless. What’s worse is witnessing people laugh at behavior that if splashed across the news headlines would be condemned.
The advocating and promotion of cocaine and meth, among other things make this type of “entertainment” repulsive.