Rough Night (2017) Review

rough night poster

A group of woman reunite for Jess’ (Scarlett Johansson) bachelorette party. The night starts out fun and wild but quickly take a turn for the worst. After ordering a stripper, the girls accidentally kill him after a lap dance goes wrong. Now they must try and cover up this disaster, but it only seems to get worse.

Following the footsteps of Bridesmaids, the raunchy female comedy gives another entry in the sub genre. Fortunately, it’s a pretty welcoming entry. The plot may essentially be taken from the dark comedy Very Bad Things, but this one is much more light-hearted and not as mean-spirited. The film features many laughs, although often times the jokes become a bit too repetitive, but they still essentially work for the most part. Towards the end there becomes a conflict between the girls. Especially between Jess and her old best friend Alice (played by Jillian Bell). It’s a little sappy, but the conflict at hand is extremely relatable when it comes to friendships post-college and entering adulthood. The laughs are effective, even if the decisions of the characters (some of the characters portrayed as actually intelligent women) make some of the dumbest decisions. But I suppose making smart decisions wouldn’t give us much of a movie. The women play off each other really well and have great chemistry. Apart from Johansson, Bell, and Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz and Ilana Glazer don’t really get much focus as characters. We get snippets of their personal stories, but we never come back to them. Each actress does a fine job with their roles. Bell and McKinnon of course playing the comedy like pros. McKinnon’s character as the crazy Australian friend of Jess, and Bell as the sex-deprived party animal (who is also an elementary school teacher). It is also really refreshing to see Scarlett Johansson do something really laid back and fun for the first time in a while. And you can really tell she’s enjoying it. Though there is one moment where you really can’t help but see her Black Widow character poking through. She plays a workaholic politician focusing on her upcoming election. She does share some decent chemistry with her fiancee Peter (a fairly comedic but kinda bland role from Paul W. Downs). Peter has his own subplot that quite frankly I feel could have been cut. But it was an interesting gender-swap situation where Jess is out partying and Peter is the one having a wine-tasting bachelor party session with his very poise and classy male friends. In small cameo roles that I feel they should have made one final appearance at the end to be really justified are Demi Moore and Ty Burrell as the super horny couple next door. They take a fancy into Zoe Kravitz character mostly, but they spend much of the movie trying to seduce the girls. They’re random additions to the story, and weren’t particularly necessary, but it provided one particularly comical moment. Moore and Burrell, could possibly be having fun with their roles, but part of me can’t help but feel this was a paycheck film. Especially for Moore. However, the biggest flaw for me is that it goes on much longer than it needs to be. The movie is an hour and 40 minutes, and it easily could have been an 80-90 minute film. This could have saved it from many repetitive jokes, unnecessary plot lines, and being only in one location for the most part, it just doesn’t need to be 100 minutes long.

Rough Night isn’t a perfect film, there are plenty of flaws, but it’s a good choice comedy to go out and have fun with. The comedy works well, the cast does a great job and have solid chemistry, and in the end it has some good heart-felt moments to it.