It was just a matter of time before we saw a female version of the 1998 black comedy Very Bad Things. Except this time, the ensemble has thrown in a dash of Weekend at Bernie's mixed with The Hangover to see Scarlett Johansson lead this wacky adventure alongside Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell and Ilana Glazer.
Out celebrating a bachelorette weekend in Miami, these girls experience the party from hell when a male stripper is accidentally killed. For the critics, they agree that the picture has its flaws but if you can look past that, the 101 minutes is worth the watch for some not-so light entertainment.
Rough Night For Characters, Great Night For Female Filmmakers
Sarah Watt of Stuff.co.nz gave the film 3.5/5 stars to say that it delivered on the laughs.
"A bit like The Hangover peopled by the fairer sex, Rough Night boasts five terrific performances from its leading ladies and produces a comedy of errors which delivers more laughs-out-loud than I've had in months," she writes. "While it doesn't quite have that spark of originality required to give it four stars or higher, Rough Night is certainly in the upper echelons of the 'Girls Can Be Funny Too Without Having To Act Like Men' genre."
Benjamin Lee of The Guardian saw enough positives in his 3/5 star critique, stating that first time director Lucia Aniello did not play down to the female viewer stereotype.
"From early on, it’s clear that we are firmly in coke-snorting, swear-spewing R-rated territory. For so long, comedies about women and aimed at women would be filled with gooey romance and warm affirmation while the men got to partake in more ribald antics. There’s a danger in matching this excess merely to prove a point but with nuance and specificity, there’s ample room for women to behave badly too."
Variety's Owen Gleiberman agreed, writing that the no holds barred attitude is prevalent throughout the whole picture.
“Rough Night, a bachelorette-party-from-hell thriller comedy that’s got some push and some laughs, despite its essentially formulaic nature, is a perfect example of why Hollywood needs (many) more women filmmakers," he argues. "What’s amusing about the movie is the cocky texture of its feminine bonding — the jokes about home bikini waxing or scarfing pizza over a dead body, delivered with a new style of merciless aggression. It’s hardly the first, or most original, comedy of female outrage to come along, but we’ve had 40 years of men behaving badly on screen."
Manic Fun Hard To Stomach For Some
THR reviewer David Rooney was not so delighted, offering a scathing take.
"While the liberating promise of an R-rated female comedy might drive some initial multiplex traffic, the smell of this rotting cadaver will start to waft by morning... The movie keeps twisting itself in knots trying to find fresh angles. For a while, it becomes a Weekend at Bernie's-style knockabout farce involving a dead guy. Then a manic spiral of self-humiliation for the future groom, marrying out of his league and desperate not to lose his prize."
Jason Guerrasio of Business Insider Australia took a step back to say that this flick was an important victory for women filmmakers and viewers, all the while having fun in the process.
"Not unlike superhero blockbusters, R-rated comedies have been dominated by men. And when a female-centered comedy does get through the cracks (Bridesmaids, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Bad Moms), they are generally directed by men. That’s what makes Sony’s hard-R comedy Rough Night (in theatres on Friday) such a standout. And it’s just a lot of fun."
Rough Night premieres in the US on June 16.