‘Rough Night’ stars for­got to pack the funny


One day Kate McKin­non, na­tional trea­sure that she is, will get the movie her con­sid­er­able tal­ents de­serve. Be­cause Rough

Night ain’t it. With an en­sem­ble led by McKin­non and Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Rough

Night ( out of four; rated R; in the­aters na­tion­wide Fri­day) is the fuzzy metal hand­cuffs of raunchy come­dies: At times it feels like a good thing, but way too of­ten re­minds you that you’re trapped for an hour and a half.

The fea­ture de­but for di­rec­tor Lu­cia Aniello ( Broad City) gives Hol­ly­wood a new voice for big-screen laughs with a film full of bach­e­lorettes be­hav­ing badly. But it’s ham­pered by flimsy char­ac­ters, a fit­fully funny plot and de­riv­a­tive gags pulled from the Very Bad Things and

Week­end at Bernie’s play­books. Up-and-com­ing politi­cian Jess (Jo­hans­son) trav­els to Miami for a party-hearty prewed­ding week­end with her col­lege friends: high-strung Alice (Jil­lian Bell), so­cialite Blair (Zoë Kravitz) and ac­tivist Frankie (Ilana Glazer). They meet up with Pippa (McKin­non), Jess’ pal from Aus­tralia, and the event­ful evening goes from co­caine and club danc­ing to a strip­per (Ryan Mur­ray) dy­ing at their bor­rowed beach house.

Rough Night of­fers an amus­ing gen­der-bend­ing of the well­trod­den bach­e­lor week­end trope: While the women are whooping it up, their male coun­ter­parts back home are at a sub­dued wine tast­ing.

What makes sim­i­lar movies work are the strong per­son­al­i­ties you or­gan­i­cally in­vest in, and that’s one of Rough Night’s weaker as­pects: None of the main char­ac­ters is very lik­able.

Only McKin­non’s kooky Aussie is a cut above, mostly be­cause she gives her all with rubber-faced phys­i­cal com­edy and a goof­ball spirit. Yet there’s noth­ing McKin­non can do about the movie’s huge tonal prob­lems. Two in­ci­dences, in­clud­ing the afore­men­tioned death, are so tonally jar­ring they bring any fun to a screech­ing halt — like some­one for­got that whole “com­edy” part of a dark com­edy.

Some day McKin­non will get that great pic­ture, but this

Night’s not one to re­mem­ber.


Pippa (Kate McKin­non) and Jess (Scar­lett Jo­hans­son) find may­hem in Rough Night.

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