Rough Night not one to remember
Rough Night (MA15+) 2.5 stars Starring Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Zoe Kravitz, Kate McKinnon Directed Lucia Aniello
When the trailer for Rough Night first dropped earlier this year, many were quick to label it a female version of The Hangover.
At a precursory glance, it’s easy to see why. A gaggle of four college girlfriends head to Miami for a bachelorette weekend, get blind drunk, take drugs and all hell breaks loose.
There are the dirty jokes and the series of misadventures that go from bad to worse over the course of the night.
The strait-laced central character, played by Scarlett Johansson, who just can’t believe how they have ended up in such a mess, and the kooky, offbeat sidekick, in this case Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon as the token Australian friend (trying to pass off a bizarre Aussie accent ).
It has all the hallmarks of a pre-wedding-bash-gone-wrong flick and there are many belly laughs to be had but its predictability and formulaic plot prevent it from achieving the comedic highs of the Hangover trilogy.
The film begins with a flashback to a college party showing the tight-knit bond between Jess (Johansson), Alice (Jillian Bell), Blair (Zoe Kravitz) and Frankie (Ilana Glazer). Flash forward 10 years to the present and the girls are no longer as close, with Jess (sporting a new conventional haircut) running for the senate and about to marry Peter (Paul W. Downs).
Encouraged by the nostalgic Alice, the pals reunite in Florida for Jess’ bachelorette weekend, joined by McKinnon’s Pippa, and attempt to put aside their differences with a night of hard partying.
Along the way, a stripper gets called to the house and winds up dead in a pool of blood, setting a catastrophic chain of events in motion as the drug-addled women attempt to dispose of the body.
It’s a different role for Johansson and she doesn’t seem to fully show off her comedic chops, instead leaving it to Bell and McKinnon to deliver the constant barrage of female-centric gaffes that make many men cringe.
Johansson has said it’s not a chick flick but it’s hard to imagine Rough Night reaching a broader audience and, while raunchy and rude at times, it does still feel a little pedestrian.
However, there are a few well-timed moments where the movie turns convention on its head and this is its saving grace, like the contrast of Peter’s own buck’s night, where the gents are sitting around a table having a tame wine tasting .
It’s a refreshing spin and nice to see a gender stereotype thrown out of the window.
Blair (Zo Kravitz), Alice (Jillian Bell), Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Frankie (Illana Grazer) and Pippa (Kate McKinnon) in Rough Night.