Rough Night (2017) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

In terms of a female-centered comedy, Rough Night gives it a good shot but just falls a little short. It has a great cast, but a lackluster script.

In a year in which female empowerment has already permeated major motion pictures, Sony offers up its latest entry with this summer's version of The Hangover entitled Rough Night. What starts out as some harmless fun in the form of a bachelorette party winds up being a series of mishaps that creates the most surreal evening some of us have ever seen.  Starring a fabulous cast full of female comedians/sketch comedy veterans, it builds itself up for a really good time and while it has a few shining moments, it doesn't quite equal The Hangover.

Jess (Scarlett Johansson; The Avengers) is getting married, and running for political office at the same time.  Her college roommate and best friend, Alice (Jillian Bell; Fist Fight) has planned a wild weekend in Miami for them and their other college friends, Blair (Zoe Kravitz; Divergent) and Frankie (Ilana Glazer; Broad City) come along to celebrate as well.  Rounding out the group is Jess's friend from when she was an exchange student in Australia, Pippa (Kate McKinnon; Office Christmas Party). 

The night starts out innocent enough, if you include some heavy drinking and cocaine use innocent, but takes a dark turn when a male stripper is accidentally killed at the house they are renting.  In an effort to cover up the "crime", they first move the body then try, more than once, to dispose of the body only to find out he wasn't really a stripper and there is more going on than they know.  

Add into the mix Jess's fiancé's, Peter (Paul W. Downs; Broad City) fear that she is calling off the wedding, complete with a plan to win her back, and the nosy, swinging neighbors, played beautifully by Ty Burrell (Modern Family) and Demi Moore (Ghost), who want to seduce Blair.  And of course, there is some friendship drama thrown in for good measure.

I can't say enough about the cast.  For me, Johansson can be hit or miss but here she is well suited for the reformed party girl turned political candidate role.  Bell's character is reminiscent of her drug-addicted guidance counselor from Fist Fight.  She is a little awkward and hyper and ever so slightly neurotic.  McKinnon is one of my favorite comedic females right now and she, once again, shows off her style.  Kravitz and Glazer fill out the group nicely and together they are humorous and fun.  

The plot and script are where things kind of don't work.  The dead body aspect drags on too long and the movie reminds me of The Hangover meets Very Bad Things.  Of course, without the dead guy, Pippa's song in the credits wouldn't make any sense (yes, sit through the credits until McKinnon is done singing).  The film starts off well enough and you think "Ok this might be good" only to leave at the end feeling a little letdown.  I wanted more laughs than I got and some jokes just really fell flat.

This is director Lucia Aniello's (Broad City) feature film debut and while she does a decent job her inexperience may be part of the issue.  She didn't know where to cut some of the gags so they drag on a little too long losing momentum along the way.  

In terms of a female-centered comedy, Rough Night gives it a good shot but just falls a little short.  Certainly not the worst I've seen but sadly not nearly the best.  Great cast, lackluster script.

Grade: C-

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 101 minutes
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures

Stream from Amazon Prime
Purchase Rough Night from the iTunes store.

For more information about Rough Night visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Rough Night images are courtesy of Columbia Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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