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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rough Night 2017 * * 1/2 Stars

Rough NightDirector: Lucia Aniello
Year: 2017
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell

Jess (played by Scarlett Johansson who was better than I thought she'd be) is getting married soon. Her friends from college decide to plan a debauchery getaway for her in Miami, Florida. They party hard on their first night in the Magic City by hitting a club, snorting some cocaine, and getting real drunk. They then head back to their vacation home. While at said home, the five women hire a stripper and accidentally kill him. Oops!

That's the gist of Rough Night, my latest review. Modeling the female version of movies like The Hangover, Very Bad Things, and Weekend at Bernie's, "Night" has a few laughs and even trudges slightly into black comedy territory. My reason for a mixed rating however, is simple: Rough Night isn't as dark or risk-taking as "Things" and it isn't as funny as "Hangover". As for "Bernie's", well "Night" only hints at the mocking of a dead body during a couple of scenes in the trailer. Those scenes were obviously left on the cutting room floor.

Image result for Rough night movie scenesDistributed by Columbia Pictures and clocking in at just over 100 minutes, Rough Night is standard yet shoddily directed by Lucia Aniello (this is her feature film debut). She provides "Night" with the usual shtick for a hard, R-rated endeavor. There's some drug references (and drug use), some heavy sexual innuendo, and some vulgar, unladylike language. Some of the material sticks and some of it awkwardly bounces off.

As for Aniello's group of actresses (Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, and Kate McKinnon to name three), well they're stiff at first but then gel together with variably decent chemistry. This is despite some real odd casting choices in the form of Johansson (mentioned earlier) as a woman running for state senate and Demi Moore as one half of a neighboring, swinging couple.

Strangely, the most humorous sequences in Rough Night involve Jess's fiance named Peter (played by Paul W. Downs). He thinks she doesn't want to marry him anymore so he quickly drives straight from Washington D.C. to Miami in a diaper (just revert back to that astronaut story with Lisa Nowak in 2007). This is all done to win Jess back (talk about bad miscommunication).

Image result for Rough night movie scenesIn conclusion, if I had to decipher the biggest flaw in "Night", it would be the ending. I won't give anything away but it feels as though the screenwriters ran out of ideas, threw in a regimented twist, and abruptly copped out on real-life culminations (the five friends could never fully get away with what they did). Talk about borderline hackwork. Overall, Rough Night gets two and a half stars from this critic. It could serve as a harmless rental when it eventually comes out on DVD.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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