I’ve only seen parts of “Very Bad Things,” a bomb from 1998, and trust me: it was not pretty. It involved guys accidentally killing a hooker and murdering a security guard (know the difference between killing and murdering) at a bachelor party. They cut up the bodies, bury them in the desert, and they end up killing each other, leaving only two alive and paralyzed, and Cameron Diaz collapsing in the streets. Again, I’ve only seen parts, but just be glad you’ve never seen it.
19 years later, we have “Rough Night,” the opposite sex version of that movie, and I’ve been concerned about whether it would be bad, mediocre, or surprisingly good. Because the laughs in the trailers are like blanks in a bullet, and Kate McKinnon is not an SNL legend. She didn’t make me laugh in “Office Christmas Party” or “Ghostbusters.”
Those are my predictions, and the movie is just mediocre. I never laughed once. I don’t even think the cast was trying to be funny. But I am, at least, grateful for two things: they choose not to cut up the body (unlike some movies), and Scarlett Johansson and Jillian Bell both have a touching turning point and apology.
Jess (Johansson) is running for State Senator, and is in need of a better image in order to win the election. She doesn’t want to do anything reckless on her bachelorette weekend in Miami, but of course her activist friend Frankie (Ilana Glazer) provides the cocaine and male stripper (Ryan Cooper). And when her teacher friend Alice (Bell) jump on him, he falls back, hits his head, bleeds out, and dies.
The five friends, also including the currently separated Blair (Zoe Kravitz) and the Australian Pippa (McKinnon), must get rid of the body, but it becomes complicated. And since Blair has to hold on to their phones, Jess’ fiancé (Paul W. Downs, the co-writer) thinks she’s dumped him, and must drive all the way to Miami to win her back.
“Rough Night” isn’t as atrocious and ugly as “Very Bad Things,” and I give the writers (Downs and Lucia Aniello, the director) some credit for making better choices than that movie. But sadder still, there have been smarter, funnier, and more versatile bachelor/bachelorette comedies like “The Hangover” and “Bridesmaids,” and apparently Elle thought it was funnier than those two. It’s not.
And back to Kate McKinnon. I could not stand her Australian character anymore. She just was not funny; she was just annoying. In fact, she should have been the dead one, but then again, it would be “Very Bad Things” over again. Cut her out of the cast, and you may have had a better movie.