3/5* Siobhan Divers | Shiv’s Show
Dir: Lucia Aniello
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoë Kravitz
Following a slow, cliché vacation-film start, Rough Night picks up in the middle of the narrative with twists, turns and a lot of drama.
While there isn’t a great deal of genuinely humorous moments, Rough Night is more than watchable as the main cast make it through the night from hell. Centering around the familiar storyline of a group of college friends meeting up after some time apart, Rough Night explores the strengths of female friendship through best friends Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Alice (Jillian Bell), Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Kravitz).
Celebrating Jess’s Bacholerette Party in Miami, the girls are joined by Jess’s Australian friend Pippa (Kate McKinnon) and immediately head for a club for a drug-fuelled drinking and dancing session. After a successful night out, the girls then hire a male stripper although the partying takes a dark turn when they accidently kill him.
Directed by Lucia Aniello, Rough Night has a mostly female-cast and follows a number of recent female-centered television shows and films. After the success of Bridesmaids (2011), females have been celebrated on both the small and big screen with other comedies such as Girls Trip and Bad Moms adding to the list of female-centered productions.
The film is ultimately a female take on male-centered The Hangover (2009) showing that girl’s holidays can be just as entertaining and wild as a boy’s holiday. Almost mirroring the plot of The Hangover from the opposite sex, Rough Night depicts a bachelorette weekend where The Hangover follows the antics of a bachelor trip and it features a new addition to a group of friends, a jealous best friend and casual drug-use like within The Hangover. The similarities are only noticeable to anyone who watched The Hangover and these aspects can be easily overseen and ignored as the narrative progresses.
Apart from a few comedic scenes, the film is more drama than comedy which was probably not the intention of Lucia Aniello, the producers or writers, but the plot and cast carry the few attempts at humour from the middle of the film and the narrative is compelling after the first few scenes, so despite the similarities to The Hangover, Rough Night is a well-cast comedy-drama thriller film that is well worth a watch.
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