‘Bridesmaids’ it’s not.
Well, at least they got the title right.
“Rough Night” is a dismal, excruciating experience, a tired retread of raunchy comedy tropes that can’t be bothered to come up with any funny or original bits. This is the kind of comedy where characters do drugs and the entire joke is them doing drugs. Hey look, they’re doing cocaine! That’s hilarious!
Scarlett Johansson, headlining her second dog in three months after the March bomb “Ghost in the Shell,” stars as Jess, the bride-to-be at a bachelorette party in Miami. Along are college pals Alice (Jillian Bell), Blair (Zoe Kravitz), Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Pippa (Kate McKinnon, her character reduced to a bad Australian accent).
After doing a bunch of cocaine (hilarious), the crew accidentally murders a male stripper — are we having fun yet? — and decides to get rid of the body. They are all very casual with regards to covering up a murder, which either means there is no emotional honesty to the characters or nothing at stake in the script. Either way, it’s a bad look. (Peter Berg’s “Very Bad Things” covered similar terrain back in the late ’90s, and at least had the guts to follow through on the darkness of its premise.)
Since “The Hangover” reignited the friends-behaving-badly genre in 2009, there have been numerous attempts to follow its success. “Bridesmaids” did it well, few others have since, and “Rough Night” represents the genre on fumes. Or maybe on cocaine — it’s frantic, scattered and convinced of its own greatness, but as it wears off it’s empty and rather sad.
Rated R: for crude sexual content, language throughout, drug use and brief bloody images
Running time: 101 minutes