Stellar writing plus fantastic performances from Jillian Bell and the rest of the cast make Rough Night the summer’s #1 Comedy.
The narrative behind this release is incredibly simplistic and straightforward. Five friends from college meet up in Miami for a bachelorette party weekend. The group consists of the Jess (Johansson) who spends most of her day running her political campaign, Frankie (Ilana Glazer) who can’t seem to keep a job, Blair (Zoë Kravitz) who is having marital issues, Alice (Jillian Bell) who is the overbearing friend that just wants what everyone has, and Pippa (Kate McKinnon) who is Jess’s lunatic friend from Australia. During the drunken and drug-laden debauchery, the girls decide to hire a stripper for the bride to be. Things get a tad bit out of hand, and Alice causes the hired beefcake to lose his balance while trying to straddle him. He falls over and cracks his skull on the tile and dies instantly. The film quickly pivots into this comedy of errors where they try to cover-up their act in hopes of not getting caught. I’m sure most already realize that doesn’t go nearly according to plan.
Casting Co-Writer Paul W. Downs as Peter (Jess’s fiancé) was a stroke of genius. He had the right mixture of dorkiness with that slight edge that comes when you are about to have a nervous breakdown.
The storyline from writer/director Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs is well crafted. Walking into the theater, I fully anticipated a story that was merely set-ups for certain punchlines, but that’s not the case at all. Instead of writing something funny, these writers developed scenarios that the actors themselves made funny.
Scarlett Johansson showed off her comedic talents and did surprisingly well (even though she’s the straight lady).
Having most of these women dealing with real issues that plague all of us was certainly the right call. It was that realism that allowed the audience to laugh even harder when things get a little nutty.
Someone needs to write a feature film script and cast Jillian Bell in the leading role. She’s not only freaking hysterical but can project an essence of vulnerability on screen that most woman will relate to.
Normally it’s the men who have the wild night, and the woman is left to have a low key evening and worry. In this case, it’s the women partying, and the men are left home to in the case of this film, attend a wine tasting. The actors played the switch beautifully, and the result was a funnier final product
Ty Burrell and Demi Moore are cast as a couple of red hot swingers that stole the scenes they were in. Don’t want to say how because that would be quite a spoiler.
What Didn’t Work
Kate Mckinnon attempts an Australian accent during the film, and for about three minutes it comes across as cute but slowly becomes one of the few annoying moments of this release.
Rough Night is everything that Baywatch wishes it could have been (which is huge for me say as I was one of the few critics who liked The Rock’s latest project). While Baywatch focused more on developing funny dialogue and one-liners, Rough Night concentrated on crafting hilarious scenarios then allowed their cast to make it funny. Great comedy can’t be forced and has to occur organically. One could not only refer to Rough Night as a great comedy; it is without question the best comedy to be released this summer. I’m sure throngs of ladies are going to be planning a GNO (Girls Night Out) but let me encourage the men to step up and take your significant other to this release. This film is fresh, freaking hysterical, and certainly doesn’t require a large amount of background knowledge to enjoy the final product.