What can overshadow a cheerful and crazy bachelorette party in Miami? Probably just the ridiculous death of a stripper. Now the girlfriends have to get out of the stupid story and somehow cover up the tracks until they hit the cops.
I love TV show Broad City and was looking forward to this because two of the creatives behind that show paired up to give us Rough Night 4K. The generic title (a switch from Move that Body which was much more suitable) should have warned me. Rough Night is forgettable and not really that funny.
The movie starts out in 2006 where a group of 4 friends get drunk at Halloween, win a beer pong competition and vow to stay friends forever. Fast forward 10 years and the group is reuniting for Jess’s (Scarlett Johansson, bland, bland, bland, comedy is NOT her forte) bachelorette weekend at a fancy house in Miami. They party, snort coke, are joined with Jess’s Australian friend Pippa (Kate McKinnon in a role that MUST have been written for Rebel Wilson. Surely?). Her friends decide to get Jess a stripper and here is when things go wrong: high on coke they accidentally end up killing the stripper and things quickly spiral out of control as they first try to do the responsible thing of calling the police and then move on to hiding the body. Scarlett Johansson 4K Movies
There was minor protests before the film being released about the movie making a punchline of killing sex workers but the film could have overcome this and he gruesome premise if not for a few things. First of all the women lack friendship chemistry. I don’t believe any of these women were ever friends even if a big part of it is that they are supposed to have drifted apart. Second the casting is all awful. Scarlett is not a comedy actress and neither is Zoe Kravitz and it shows. Without being backed up by her hilariously crafted Broad City alter ego Ilana Glazer comes across as simply annoying. Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell are probably the best with their characters but neither one is given much to do. McKinnon just leans hard into her accent and Bell is saddled with a “loser desperate friend who can’t take a hint”. The third thing is that the movie never quite finds it’s tone. It struggles between “woke” dialogue for characters who are actually just mean and instead of simply leaning into the fact that these women are awful and allowing them to get even more absurdly awful it’s way too protective of the characters and keeps trying to redeem them by making them “nice” people. It’s both incredibly boring and keeps the movie from really flying.
Still, Rough Night blu-ray remux isn’t a total write off. There are enough funny lines and a subplot (involving Jess’s fianc who the movie allows to get into REALLY ridiculous shenanigans) to be watchable. Just wish that the script would have let the ladies turn loose too.