Cyndi Lauper may have declared that girls just wanna have fun way back in 1983, yet most of the “naughty” comedies since then have been incredibly dangly bit-centric. But then Bridesmaids hit in 2011 and set about reversing a few stereotypical gender roles.
Rough Night is pretty much what you’d expect it to be from watching any of its trailers – a wild side girlie night out flick akin to popping The Hangover trilogy, most anything by Judd Apatow, recent chick-led affairs such as Bad Moms and How to Be Single, the aforementioned Bridesmaids and Weekend at Bernie’s (yes, really) into a Thermomix and setting it to stun.
With an interesting ensemble cast, Rough Night sees four college best buddies – Jess (Scarlett Johansson, no longer that nice girl who bought a zoo), Alice (Jillian Bell), Blair (Zoë Kravitz) and Frankie (Ilana Glazer) – reuniting 10 years later for a bachelorette weekend in Miami. Add a ringer from a Jess semester in Australia in Pippa (Kate McKinnon, veering from decent Aussie accent to utterly taking the piss) and all’s set for a great time… until they accidentally kill their stripper.
With Jess running for local government and everybody else just kind of not wanting to end up doing the Orange Is the New Black thing, the race is on to dispose of the body. But a combination of recently hoovered nose candy, changed group dynamics and everybody from swinger neighbours (Ty Burrell and Demi Moore) to pizza delivery guys with bad timing, flimsy Smart cars and beyond don’t exactly aid them in their quest.
Then there’s Jess’ fiancé Peter (Paul W. Downs, co-writer with director Lucia Aniello), busy in his own movie gender cliché swap of a quiet wine tasting back home with his placid friends. Worried sick at a lack of contact from his partner, his desperate (but really kind of sweet) drive to Miami cements the “sad astronaut” play into the world’s vocabulary forevermore.
A few plot twists – some clever, some incredibly predictable – present themselves, amidst a lot of cringe comedy and some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Despite a yawn-inducingly cheap Vegemite gag and that wavering accent, Kate McKinnon steals yet another movie with her killer just-off-kilter-enough timing and talent.
Rough Night doesn’t rewrite any rules or push any new buttons, but it serves its girls behaving badly ambitions well. When the working day is done, it’s quite a bit of fu-un…
In cinemas: June 15, 2017
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Zoë Kravitz, Ilana Glazer
Directed by: Lucia Aniello