Friday, 16 June 2017

Rough Night

By Angie Raphael

2.5 stars

This comedy about what is essentially the worst thing that could happen to a group of women on a night out had me eye-rolling more than giggling. To some extent, Rough Night is a female version of The Hangover, but it also rips off other successful comedies like Weekend At Birnie's. Unfortunately, it repeatedly fails to hit the mark. The story centres on a group of college friends who are reuniting for the first time in three years to celebrate the bachelorette party of Jess (Scarlett Johansson) in Miami, but things take a criminal turn when they accidentally kill a stripper at their holiday home.

It is a very different role for Johansson, whose character is a bit of a stick in the mud, while the always funny Kate McKinnon has such a terrible Australian accent, it remains unclear if it was intended to draw laughs or not. Jillian Bell has a few good moments but is mostly irritating, while Zoe Kravitz and Ilana Glazer are slightly more likeable but we also get less information about their characters. Paul W. Downs, who also co-wrote the script, plays Jess' fiance and spends half the time in a gender role reversal, drinking wine with his friends and wondering what his partner is up to, and the other half bizarrely wearing a diaper for a ridiculous reason. Director and co-writer Lucia Aniello has gone for a low-brow approach in her first feature but this raunchy comedy feels like a series of sketches strung together by a loose and silly plot. I wish I could celebrate the feminism of having a female director leading a predominantly female cast, but Rough Night is a dismal mess.



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