It’s hard to look at Rough Night and not be reminded of the disastrous piece of shit that was Ghostbusters: Answer The Call. One year later and we have another all-female comedy where Kate McKinnon delivers a lot of memorable laughs…..or in the case of Ghostbusters was intended to deliver laughs if it wasn’t for an incredibly weak script. Ghostbusters: Answer The Call was a box office failure and thankfully this hasn’t driven studios away from doing another all-female cast comedy.
Watching Ghostbusters: Answer The Call like…
This is a big deal since Hollywood is the place where studios have said things like “We tried a movie with a female lead once, we’ll never do THAT again” and finding zero value in black culture for the first half of the 1980s after The Wiz tanked…..even though its director and script writer were white. So as stated previously, it’s amazing Hollywood’s small mindedness didn’t stop this film from being made.
New idea? Nah we can just make another movie with Harrison Ford
After seeing Rough Night personally I believe this is a step in the right direction for female driven comedies and helps rinse out the horrible taste that Ghostbusters: Answer The Call left in our mouths last summer.
A current trend in comedies aimed towards females is the group of friends getting together to party, getting wild and crazy after being good adults for too long. Recently there was Bad Moms, which I didn’t see but looks like a movie that gets the adrenaline pumping for women in their mid-thirties who think spilling red wine on a white rug is the worst thing you could ever do. The first preview I saw during Rough Night was the black version of this film trope, Girls Trip.
My favorite thing about Rough Night is that it’s a dark comedy that seems to be mocking this sub-genre of comedy. Most of these movies tend to be about upper middle class women who think the craziest thing imaginable is drinking a little too much vodka and Red Bull while having a male stripper grinding all over you. This film answers the question what if something crazy actually took place like the stripper accidentally being murdered?
Rough Night takes a dull, mediocre and generic concept and turns it into a very enjoyable dark comedy.
The cast overall is great. As one would guess, Kate McKinnon gets a lot of the memorable lines and moments. She also commits to an Australian accent that she makes work throughout the entire film. I went to see this movie because I love Jillian Bell who also delivers in her performance. The cast really gelled and works unlike Ghostbusters: Answer The Call that at times feels like an improv group that was quickly thrown together and as the cameras rolled attempted to brainstorm material unsuccessfully.
Rough Night does have some negative spots. Every now and then the film attempts to lightly hit you over the head with somewhat feminist lines that feel like something that was forced into the script once Donald Trump won the election. At the very beginning of the film Scarlett Johansson, with a Hillary Clinton haircut is running for some political office against some Anthony Weiner type who is constantly posting dick pics and is still able to compete with her while people point out that she’s unfuckable in her campaign ad. There are also a couple of quick lines where the women panic about the dead stripper, bringing up news stories where women went to jail or prison for lesser crimes. Thankfully, these are rare occurrences.
Another negative aspect of Rough Night is whenever it cuts to the husband to be, Peter whose scenes always feel like a cigarette break from the fun. For the most part everything he does is filler and somewhat mediocre attempts at humor, perhaps as a means of really making the well written comedy of the women pack more of a punch. Without cutting back to him and his adventures, I’d have to imagine this film having the running time of Duck Soup or Horse Feathers.
Every film has their negative side and these don’t stop Rough Night from being a very entertaining late night film. As I saw The End beginning to spell out on the screen, I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach, not wanting this film to be over.
The fact that there is a dark comedy exists with an all-female cast and the lead is this generation’s Marilyn Monroe is pretty fucking cool. This is Lucia Aniello’s directorial film debut and I hope this film is successful, leading to more movies because now more than ever movies need people who offer something other than another mediocre and mindless 200 million dollar CGI filled action film.
Nothing makes me laugh like Kate McKinnon taking her luggage with her to the club.