Film: Rough Night

I’m not proud. I watched Rough Night (2017). Hey, it’s got Kate McKinnon. Anyway, Rough Night details the misadventures of a group of college friends who reunite for the bachelorette party of aspiring senatorial candidate Jess (Scarlett Johansson). The friends journey to Miami for a weekend of partying while staying in a borrowed beach house. Their wild, carefree partying comes crashing to a halt when the male stripper they hire to embarrass Jess is, well, accidentally killed. After that, believe it or not, wacky hijinks ensue.

Rough Night isn’t without its charms. The core friends—Johansson, Jillian Bell, Zoë Kravitz, and Ilana Glazer—have decent comic chemistry. That said, McKinnon is the star attraction, shamelessly stealing the show as Jess’s demented Australian friend Pippa. There are decent laughs here and there, some supplied by Ty Burrell as an outrageously sexual neighbor living next door. Alas, this mutant fusion of The Hangover, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Bridesmaids possesses wildly uneven humor, and ramps its antics to a mercilessly screen-tested Hollywood ending which seems painfully unaware of its privileged subtext. Provided the perpetrators experience heartwarming character growth, it suggests, any criminal activity can be forgiven. Overall, it’s harmless, but it leaves a weird taste in your mouth.

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