It'd be unfair to trash a comedy for not being as funny as you'd want it to be, but that's perhaps my biggest issue here. Make no mistake, there's a funny cast in Rough Night, but the jokes never land hard enough to leave an impression, they're funnny, yes, but the movie lands more chuckles than full on laughter. I know, comedy is subjective, but when most jokes land, yet not hard enough to keep me from feeling the time, I have to question why? The talent is there, the humor is there, yet the execution leaves me chuckling, which sucks because otherwise, this is a solid approach to comedy. This isn't all to say that no joke lands hard, in fact a few do, it's just, there really should be more laugh out loud moments, given the plot.
The premise we're working with here, involves a few friends, played Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz and Kate McKinnon, celebrating the bachelorette party of the main character, play by Scarlett Johansson. Things get a bit messy, when their stripper arrives at their party, accidentally getting killed as one of the girls play rough on him. It's a dark joke, that perhaps goes on for too long, but it's one with so much to work with, the issue, again, is that the jokes made are funny, but for whatever reason don't land harder.
Nothing outright annoying here, at least not to a point that seriously damages the film as far as I can tell. I'll admit, the film eventually starts to feel a little too long, but it doesn't last too long, as the point where I realized that the plot was dragging, was at the same moment that the film's twist was kicking in. By the way, not spoiling the twist, but once you know there's a twist you'll see it coming. The other nuisance of the movie, is Kate herself, I love her stuff, and her physical work is on point here, but the accent she uses for her Australian character is just annoying.
That being said, the rest of the main cast shines. Johansson, really gets to show off her comedy chops here, perfectly capturing an every women feel to her character that grounds a lot of the other characters reactions. Johansson's minor subplot, of a political woman trying to beat a chauvinist for office feels timely, though I imagine some may walk away confused by the joke. Ilana and Kravitz are great as ex-lovers, you truly get a sense that these characters were lovers, without the film ever dipping into homophobic jokes, that's definitely something worth getting proud over.
Oddly enough, the funniest thing about the film comes from Johansson's boyfriend in the film, Paul W. Downs is just hilarious as this sorta whiny, doofus of a boyfriend who eventually tries getting to the bachelorette after a misunderstanding. Second to that, is a married couple living next door to the vacation house that the film mostly takes place in, Ty Burrel and Demi Moore, make for some hilarious swingers.
At best, I can only recommend Rough Night for a rent, then again, it wouldn't surprise me if this strikes a bigger chord for women and the LGBT community. For me personally, I'd rather watch This is the End, in terms of dark comedies that take place largely in one house.
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Written by Octaviano Macias