Rough Night review: A dead stripper, cocaine and five best friends

Chad White
Loves: This freaking cast, the freaking behind the scenes people
Likes: Kate McKinnon’s accent
Dislikes: Kate McKinnon’s accent, TV situation based movies
Hates: Murder

Let's stop talking about periods now.

It’s been a long time coming but it’s safe to say that all of the crew of Broad City has finally made it. Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello – co-executive producers of the show – wrote and directed this farce about a group of bridesmaids looking to celebrate their friendship. It’s fitting that all of the sequences appear as if they’ve been ripped from the plots of sitcoms then. While funny and dark and all around interesting, Rough Night never amounts to anything more than another comedy about a group of people’s plan going horribly wrong.

Scarlett Johansson stars as Jess who is getting ready to marry Downs’ Peter while simultaneously running for state senate. She’s driven, possibly too much. Her friend from college, Alice (Jillian Bell in a starring role for once!), has planned the weekend of a lifetime for Jess’s bachelorette gathering. Invited are Zoe Kravitz’s middle-of-divorce-but-super-rich Blair, Ilana Glazer’s lesbian Frankie and Kate McKinnon’s Australian Pippa. The characters are as developed as they need to be. We get glimpses into their lives. For instance, Blair’s is particularly appealing to dive into and yet Aniello and Downs’ script doesn’t do much with it. Pippa, on the other hand, is annoying in a way that one has to ask if McKinnon needed to keep up the accent for the entire movie. All in all, the interaction and discussions between them are entertaining, making for great dialogue.

Speaking of, the script work is well done. Aniello and Downs are good writers and their jokes fly more than they fall. But there are a lot of lines that land flat, slowing down the movie. Sadly, these come more often than they should. The story – rather, stories – are a mixed bag. The women continually find themselves in trouble. It’s a lot like Rat Race or Dumb and Dumber in that once one adventure comes to a close, another one is right around the corner. The process is tiresome, especially when the end is near. What’s more is the entire thing can come off as predictable. Here’s the sequence of events: Alice is bothersome to Jess. Frankie and Blair hint at their past. Pippa is Jess’s best friend now. Alice is jealous. They kill the stripper. They can’t dispose of the body. They dispose of the body. The body comes back. And so on. It’s a shame about the story, really. Downs and Aniello could’ve done so much more with it. At least the jokes surrounding it are good.

Should you watch Rough Night?

This summer’s potential comedy hit is a fun enough watch. The casting and writing are great but don’t dig too deep into that story.


  • I didn’t mention Aniello’s directing. She did such a good job. It’s unobtrusive, liberties were taken, yada yada yada. Kudos to her first time.
  • Eric Andre, Bo Burnham and Colton Hayes were all guest stars. Or co-stars because they had multiple scenes but not enough to be named on camera. Also, it’s nice to see Colton Hayes in something big like a movie.
  • Ty Burrell and Demi Moore should be featured in more movies as that creepy, sexy couple.
  • Boy does that ending sure end the movie. Much like a television show that’s running out of runtime, the movie comes to a halt. It’s reminiscent of Neighbors 2.
  • My friend can’t wait for “the black version” (Girls Trip) coming out later in July. What if they’re the exact same movie? Please, let my theory be real.