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Film Review: ‘Rough Night’ is More Than Just a Diamond in the Rough

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO - The idiotic notion in Hollywood (and in the basements of fanboy mothers everywhere) that women can’t be funny is a joke in itself. Women have been forced to prove themselves on the male-dominated comedic circuit and have come out as successful as their male counterparts. “Rough Night”, despite all of its flaws, is just the most recent example of that.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

There is no looking past some of the more obvious conventions used in this and many other bachelor/bachelorette-party-gone-wrong genre films. The set up is typically the same, with each character playing a specific archetype, and having each of them riff off of each other. This is unavoidable. “Hangover” did it. “Bridesmaids” did it. “Rough Night” does it as well. The only difference between the other films and this one is the humor is much more centered around the female experience, and that is the most refreshing part of it. Writers Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs have worked on “Broad City” together (also starring Ilana Glazer), and have helped make it one of the best diverse and socially conscious comedies on television today. They inject some of the show’s comedic life-force into the film, but not nearly enough to channel the level of outrageousness that makes the show a must-watch staple.

The story follows the reunion of old college friends, with the moral of the story being no matter how much they’ve changed, they still remained the same. “Rough Night” throws a sentimental jab here and there, but makes its focus clearly on the humor and “Weekend at Bernie’s” vibe it more than occasionally gives off. The humor’s accuracy lands more hits than misses, but the misses are strongly felt since they disrupt the uproarious pacing the film mostly holds throughout. The strongest part of the humor used is the relatability of it all on a social level. At least half of the humor is based on the female-specific experience or as a form of commentary on social issues and the current state of America. Mostly, “Rough Night” uses these issues as a punchline, but their satirical sting is what lingers long after the laughter subsides. The pitfalls of using this kind of humor are that it sometimes comes off as irreverent or false in its convictions, undermining any real message trying to be sent. Luckily, Aniello and Downs navigate the film’s story so that it mostly compliments its intended message.

“Rough Night” opened everywhere on June 16th. Featuring Scarlett Johansson, Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon, Ilana Glazer, Jillian Bell, Paul W. Downs, Demi Moore, Ty Burrell and Colton Haynes. Screenplay by Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs. Directed by Lucia Aniello. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Rough Night”

The party is just getting started in ‘Rough Night’
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Rough Night”

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