A strong mix of tragedy, hi­lar­ity

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - World - Peter Howell

Rough Night is a com­edy about a bach­e­lorette party that goes fa­tally wrong and keeps get­ting wronger, usu­ally to hu­mor­ous ef­fect.

Con­sider this no small achieve­ment. It’s hard to move from tragedy to some­thing re­sem­bling hi­lar­ity, al­though the laughs are very dark.

Peter Berg didn’t man­age it a gen­er­a­tion ago with the male­dom­i­nated Very Bad Things, the movie this one most re­sem­bles. He couldn’t find a way up from the story’s bleak down­ward spi­ral.

Rough Night di­rec­tor/co-writer Lu­cia Aniello pulls it off with her distaff ver­sion. She also sends up the sex­ist stereo­type of a groom-to-be and his pals run­ning wild — as in The Hang­over and its im­i­ta­tors — while the bride-to-be frets back home.

This time it’s bride-to-be Jess (Scar­lett Jo­hans­son) and her gal pals who are on a tear, in Mi­ami rather than Ve­gas, while her fi­ancé Peter (Paul W. Downs, who also co-writes) is left be­hind at home fran­ti­cally wor­ry­ing.

Jess and her col­lege chums Alice (Jil­lian Bell), Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoë Kravitz) haven’t seen much of each other in the 10 years since they grad­u­ated. They’re de­ter­mined to make up for lost time — or at least Alice is, be­ing the one of the four who never re­ally grew up.

There’s also the wild card of Pippa (Kate Mckin­non), an Aus­tralian new­comer who seems to be chal­leng­ing the BFF sta­tus for Jess that Alice jeal­ously con­sid­ers to be her own.

But then the club­bing, co­caine and shots com­mence, and be­fore you know it — and as the trailer has al­ready re­vealed — a male strip­per is ly­ing dead on the man­sion floor.

Rough Night has many nar­ra­tive bumps, but what smooths them is the great chem­istry of the five women caught in the cen­tral dilemma.

Petty jeal­ousies and catty com­ments emerge, but so do el­e­ments of per­son­al­ity and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion that help make this movie more than the same-old of for­mula come­dies. This is Girls Gone Wild with a bru­tally fe­male gaze, and it’s all the bet­ter for it.

this is girls gone Wild with a bru­tally fe­male gaze, and it’s all the bet­ter

for it.

Cour­tesy Quantrell Colbert

demetrius shipp Jr. stars as tu­pac shakur in all eyez on me.

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