“Rough Night” has a lot of promise, being a new original movie scripted and directed by a woman. It takes some cues from other raunchy R-rated movies, such as “The Hangover”, “Weekend at Bernie’s”, and “Very Bad Things”. However, the “Rough Night” turns out to be a ‘Rough Viewing”. There is a basic setup that could go on a beautiful honeymoon, but it fails to take its vows.
Five dorm buddies from 10 years ago now find themselves invited to a bachelorette party weekend in Miami. Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is finally getting married to her long-term boyfriend Peter (Paul W. Downs). Jess is running for state senate, but she needs some down time. Her best friend is Alice (Jillian Bell) and she is planning a crazy time. Also invited are Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoë Kravitz).
When they are in Miami, they find that Jess also invited her friend from her Study Abroad trip to Australia. Pippa (Kate McKinnon) is new to all the other girls and there is some friction at first. But they do all do cocaine, drink a lot and dance at the clubs. When they get back, they stay at house that a donor has let Jess use for the weekend. Frankie calls up and gets a private male stripper.
Soon a man arrives, and he attempts to seduce Jess. Jess turns him down, but Alice gets a little too wild. The guy bangs his head and bleeds out onto the floor. All of the women start to freak out, but they decide to dispose of the body. They are at a beach house, and Pippa takes a Ski Jet out to dump the poor guy in the deep briny. But they are discovered by the creepy sex-pervert couple next door. Blair needs to keep them, ahem, distracted.
Soon another guy arrives in a police outfit. They knock him out and find out he is the stripper. But then who is the dead guy? Meanwhile, Peter thinks that Jess in trouble, and he has no other option than to do the “Sad Astronaut”. That means driving straight from D.C. to Miami with no stops, wearing a diaper and drinking Red Bulls.
Then the situation gets resolved, but it really has taken a turn for the worse. The women are hysterical, crude and morally indefensible. They keep adding worse choices on top the bad ones they have already made. The scenes all seem forced and not very pleasing to watch. There are some talented actresses in the movie, but none of them are making too much of an effort. Scarlett Johansson appears to be biding her time until they make a solo “Black Widow” movie.
The most awful is Kate McKinnon, who is most annoying with the fake Australian accent. It is like the movie part was written for an actual Australian (perhaps Rebel Wilson), but instead McKinnon came up and decided to do the part. Her character just removes any hint actual comedy or true drama that could have been there.
The movie could have been a hot ticket with the female audience and having a female director. But all of that gets wasted on the plot that just plods along without any pulse. The parts when Paul W. Downs is on screen are little be more fun, because his character is such a doofus with such a big crush on Jess.
There is so much promise and way to little to be enthused about. However, if you see this movie, do wait until the very final shot at the end of the credits. It brings back a missing item (or two) from earlier in the movie. It’s like finding ‘a girl’s best friend’…