Rough Night

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

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In the tradition of “The Hangover,” Lucia Aniello (TV’s Broad City) helms “Rough Night,” an Oh-My-God-what-did-I-do comedy that feels too much like deja vu.

Senate candidate Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is about to get married. Her college friend Alice (Jillian Bell) organizes a bachelorette party in Miami with Jess’s other friends, Blair (Zoe Kravitz) and Frankie (Illana Glazer). 

When the four arrive at the airport, Alice pops the champagne bottle which is mistaken for a gunshot and then they get into more drama. When a male hustler arrives at the spacious house, Jess gets nervous and Alice decides to seize the moment. She jumps on the man, causing him to hit his head on the edge of the fireplace. He is out cold. Then, a large amount of blood pours from the wound. 

The man is dead.

Most of the comedy is taken up with madcap-style discussions about what to do with the dead man, whether to call the police, hide or dispose of the body. 

There are a few funny bits of dialogue between Johansson and Bell, whose character feels like the odd girl out, but for the most part, the goings on are silly as usual in the mode of “Weekend at Bernie’s” to the point of posing the corpse driving a car and putting penis glasses on him while in a leather harness.

Kate McKinnon appears as an out of touch Australian who delivers a couple of humorous bug-eyed facial expressions. 

The cast is joined by Modern Family’s Ty Burrell and actor Demi Moore as sexually voracious neighbors. 

When the story is not concerning the dead sex worker, there are jokes aplenty about oral sex and drugs but halfway thru the film, the silliness becomes repetitive and the plot appears to labor. 

The action is too centered on one joke: a dead body at a party and there is not enough to see this film through.

There are some villians but for the most part, there is merely a couple of dropped guns and raised voices.

Only the most virginal of eyes will find something to ogle and laugh at here. Despite the best intent of its director, “Rough Night” is a formulaic exercise, a hybrid of  “Bernie’s”, “Bridesmaids” and “The Hangover” franchise. 

Despite its title, the nightly proceedings are not really intriguingly rough, novel or exciting and move across the eye in a  tepid, conventional rhythm.

Write Ian at ianfree1@yahoo.com

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