Rough Night is a comedy about a group of friends enjoying a bachelorette weekend when things suddenly go very wrong very fast. It stars Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Zoe Kravitz, and Ilana Glazer as these five friends in what is an overall pretty meh comedy. The talent of the big name cast does help to bring some level of enjoyment to the film but not everyone involved was as funny as they’d hoped. There are some good laughs to be had here and there but there were more misses than hits leading to some pretty lengthy sequences without laughs. The plot itself doesn’t take itself seriously and develops in a fun enough way to where you could say it surprises you about as much as a generic comedy can.
I will start with the performances because where there are some shining lights, some just really didn’t hit at all. Kate McKinnon is by far the highlight of this movie, she plays an Australian character and even though the accent was by no means perfect she was so funny to watch. Line after line she delivered with good comedic timing and only missed a handful of times. Just like in Ghostbusters it seems that her over-exaggerated style of comedy really works in an ensemble cast as she’s my favourite part of both of these movies. Zoe Kravitz and Ilana Glazer’s characters have a really fun back and forth dynamic throughout the entire movie and their personalities compliment each other. On their own they aren’t that great but their characters together provide some good moments. Scarlett Johansson being the biggest name does well with some of the comedy and is fine to watch for her stardom.
And then you get to Jillian Bell and she just drops the ball with every joke and pretty much nothing works. I think it’s a combination of the way the character was written and her comedic style but i didn’t find her funny at all, in fact she was quite irritating every time she spoke. Her character just sucked the life out of pretty much most scenes she was in and if it wasn’t for McKinnon interjecting every now and then it would have pissed me off even more. Ty Burrell and Demi Moore co-star as a sex-crazed couple and for the limited screen time they have they were decently funny and i enjoyed their scenes. Co-Writer of the film Paul W. Downs plays Johansson’s fiancé and his entire side plot was a bunch of filler so that he can serve one cliche purpose later in the film. The first time they cut to his bachelor party was funny, a good little joke which worked, but then every time after that we followed his character the humour had worn off and it was pretty boring.
The main plot itself was actually ok, I mean, it’s nothing spectacular and does devolve into a storyline that comedies typically seem to go for nowadays, but it works. The first 20 minutes or so are the least interesting because there isn’t really a clear direction on where things are going, for some time you’re just watching a bachelorette party play out and that’s fine but it needed to progress. But when it does get going it takes some turns here and there that are pretty generic but being someone who very rarely predicts future events in films I for one didn’t really see them coming and that was much appreciated. It does also do the thing comedies feel the need to do nowadays which is to add some emotional or dramatic element to the story and it really isn’t needed because it doesn’t work.
So in the end Rough Night isn’t anything to be get excited about, there are some good laughs here and there from half of the main cast and the story itself you can follow and maybe get a kick out of. But the large number of jokes that fall completely flat coupled with the boring-ass side plot lead to some long sequences that just aren’t satisfying to watch comedically. With a group of friends and some alcohol you can definitely enjoy this movie but otherwise it’s probably best to check out something else.