“Rough Night”


            Comedies degenerate into silliness if there isn't some dramatic offset, and “Rough Night” has its share of mood-altering moments.  Director Lucia Aniello isn't afraid to alternate slapstick and sobering, best friend banter with catty put-down, stupid and stupefying, raunchy and cheesy.  There will be some “girls night out” trips to go see this one together; the kind where adult beverages are imbibed in preparation.

            The cast of caricatures includes Jess (Scarlett Johansson), as bride-to-be, Alice (Jillian Bell) as the fat-and-sassy best friend, Blair (Zoe Kravitz), the token-black-who-doesn't-know-she's-black, Frankie (Ilana Glazer), the professional protestor, and Kiwi (Kate McKinnon), the Aussie who claims it's culturally insensitive to call her a Kiwi (a New Zealander), but she answers to it, anyway.  All except Kiwi were college buddies of the bride, who met Kiwi during her student exchange year, and just assumes everyone will get along fabulously. 

            Except ten years after college, they no longer have so much in common.  Jess has “gone straight,” and is campaigning to be a State legislator, and is very sensitive about any public improprieties that might affect her political image, which of course makes everyone else want to snort cocaine with her.

            Jess' fiancee, Peter (Paul W. Downs), is having a bachelor party while the girls fly off to Miami for their big bachelorette weekend, but he and his groomsmen seem tame by comparison---they are doing some quiet wine-tasting together.  This contrasts sharply with the girls going out clubbing and dancing and downing shots together.

            We know something's going to get out of hand, and throw everyone into a tizzy, which is exactly what happens, but the fun is in all the gyrations of getting there.

            Don't go to this one if you're not in the mood for some “adult humor.”  And don't bring the kids, either.  But there are some good, awkward comedic moments, that probably can't be re-told in your Sunday School class.


Questions for Discussion:

1)                  Have you ever been to a bachelor's or bachelorette party that got a little out of hand?

2)                  When have you said something in anger that you wish you could take back?

3)                  What's become of the college buddies you've kept up with?


Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, DFW Film Critics Association