“Rough Night” Movie Review

I don’t often pay to see comedies in the theater. Mainly because whenever I have in the past, I’ve left disappointed. I’m very picky when it comes to humor, and for some reason it takes a lot for a straight-up comedy to make me laugh out loud. Sometimes the communal atmosphere definitely helps. Laughter is infectious, and if there are people around me having a roaring good time, I can usually end up getting sucked into the fun. So I was curious to see if Rough Night had that magic quality.

Directed by Lucia Aniello and written by Aniello and Paul W. Downs, the film is about a group of old college friends who reunite for a bachelorette party when one of them gets engaged. Jess, Alice, Frankie, and Blair (played by Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoe Kravitz) decide to spend a party-filled weekend in Miami, along with Jess’s Australian friend, Pippa (Kate McKinnon). But their plans are put on hold when they accidentally kill a male stripper. Will they call the police? Will they get rid of the body? Could this night get any worse?

The answer is yes. Yes it can. Without going into spoiler territory, I’ll say that this movie definitely goes in the direction you think it would. We get a fun intro to all the characters, the stripper comes in, the stripper dies, and then we’re launched into a far-fetched crime thriller. The story gets pretty ridiculous, but in a fun way. I was never bored watching this movie, and that’s due in part to the great chemistry between the women.

Each of the characters has a clear personality and each of them have their moments to shine comedically. Johansson is good as the straight-laced lead. McKinnon gets a good chuckle as the kooky foreigner, although once or twice she does feel like an SNL character. Kravitz and Glazer also play their parts well. Jillian Bell’s character did kind of annoy me- her overbearing personality and obsession with maintaining her friendship with Johansson is reminiscent of Kristen Wiig’s character in Bridesmaids– but as the film progressed and you learned more about why she acts this way, she becomes more sympathetic.

So overall, I had a decent time with Rough Night. It’s not a laugh-a-minute comedy. The story as a whole gets very predictable and doesn’t offer many new surprises. At the same time, however, I was constantly entertained. I was never bored, and the film did get a few laughs out of me. That alone is a plus. Rough Night is a perfectly fine popcorn movie, one that you can enjoy with a group of friends with a few drinks in hand.

Cosmic Grade: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

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