Trust me, no one is more surprised than I am to behold six stars on that score metre instead of two or one. Movies like this are released all the time, cheap, disposable, badly edited and bland looking romps about a group of friends who want to recapture their youth by getting drunk and doing drugs until something unspeakable happens like their schemes are uncovered by the authorities or a social rival or someone goes missing or they accidentally kill someone; as is the case with the subject of this review, Rough Night, a cheap, disposable, badly edited and bland looking-oh I’ve already said that.
BUT, here’s the thing… this movie actually made me laugh, quite a few times too, it has everything you would expect it to have, from the shoddy production value all the way to the typical narrative beats we have seen in literally every other movie EVER, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it in some twisted kind of way. Rough Night is the story of a group of female friends who get together for Scarlett Johansson’s hen night, they drink, do drugs and end up accidently killing the stripper; don’t you just hate it when that happens? What we have here is a recipe for disaster folks, how on Earth could this film possibly be any good?
Well, I’ve often thought to myself after seeing a terrible comedy film “Jesus, all you guys had to do was make it funny, it’s a comedy movie, I can deal with bad cinematography and general cheapness but for the love of Satan, just make it funny”, and that appears to be how Rough Night managed to be alright, they actually did their best to try and actually make it funny; at least I thought it was.
On the legitimately good side the film is pretty well acted, Scarly-Jo is always watchable in everything she’s ever in, Kate McKinnon puts on an accent that never falters and really everyone looks like they want to give this thing their all. I don’t know why Scarlett said yes to staring in such low level material but I’m really glad she did because her appearance really does elevate it for me, there’s something refreshing about seeing someone like her behave so badly on screen, drinking herself stupid and snorting coke like there’s no tomorrow.
What is probably a result of pure luck, the characters never annoyed me which is usually standard for these kinds of films, they want you to admire and sympathise with a bunch of fools who are, in fact, so unlikeable you catch yourself wishing they would accidently stumble into a Hostel movie because that’s the fate they deserve. This time around though, I found myself warming to the characters, they were rather fun and entertaining and I found myself hoping they would succeed which is unusual.
There really isn’t much else to say, it’s a disposable and rubbish piece of committee designed nonsense that happens to be funny and entertaining in a guilty pleasure way and some decent acting, it managed to avoid standard issues these movies always have, probably by sheer luck, and, in spite of its flaws, I have to admit I did enjoy it. Technically it isn’t good but the jokes made me laugh and that’s all a comedy film needs to do, it can be ugly and generic and badly edited just as long as I laugh at the jokes.
Unlike Girl’s Trip which seemed to think its characters’ annoying antics were cute and likeable (they weren’t), Rough Night knew to be much more self aware whenever they did something stupid and even punished them for it; even better is they didn’t even need to do it that often.