Rough Night starring Scarlett Johansson as an uptight bride to be who decides to cut loose on her bachelorette weekend in Miami attempts to capitalize on the success of past raunchy female driven movies like The Sweetest Thing, Bridesmaids and more recently Bad Moms. The R Rated comedy comes with a strong cast including Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell and Demi Moore in a small role. The film wants to show you so bad that girls can party hard too, but ends up ripping off a slew of other films that were much better than Rough Night.
The cast of characters in Rough Night are quite generic and their roles are to force laughs on the audience during their bar hopping antics due to their differences after not being together in years. As stated earlier, Johansson plays the former party girl turned square Jess, Bell plays the best friend role and McKinnon is the wild card. Zoë Kravitz is the generic rich friend and Ilana Glazer assumes the train wreck role of the clique as two of the friends who used to be lovers. Their subplot is quite forgettable, which goes for many of the silly side stories shoved into Rough Night including Jess’ run for political office and her fiancé driving to Miami under unusual circumstances.
Rough Night also takes a very dark turn after an accident occurs resulting in chaos during the party weekend with the girls getting wrapped up in a criminal conspiracy. This part of the plot is so unnecessary and especially not funny with cheap jokes about drugs and death. The first 30 minutes of the film is actually quite humorous when it just sticks to the raunchy reunion weekend with the gals trying relive their glory days of college. The film attempts to have a heart through this angle in Rough Night, but this emotional side of the movie doesn’t work when it’s trying to rip off 1998’s Very Bad Things.
All these mix matched themes come together poorly in Rough Night creating an unfunny mess. The potential of the first act is completely ruined by the twist and this talented cast is left hurling lame insults at one another. None of the crew is very likable which makes it hard to laugh or care about anything that happens during Rough Night. It’s just a shame this strong cast is saddled with a script full of weak humor and a plot structure that can’t decide what film it wants to rip off next.
Overall, I give Rough Night 1.75 out of 4 stars.
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