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Movie review: A questionable murder derails ‘Rough Night’ fun

By in Press Enterprise on June 15, 2017

By Lindsey Bahr

In “Rough Night ” four women on a wild and crazy bachelorette weekend in Miami accidentally kill a guy and try to get away with it.

You know it’s coming. It’s right there in the trailer. In the middle of the party, Jillian Bell’s coked-out character runs full speed toward a male stripper to straddle him and inadvertently knocks the guy over. As his seat falls back, his head cracks into the sharp edged fireplace ledge behind him.

What the trailer doesn’t show is the reddish black blood oozing out from the dead guy’s head onto the white tile floor. Have I mentioned this is a comedy? Was the trailer warning us about this moment so we could be prepared? Or was it selling it as part of the laughs?

Others have tried to venture into this questionable terrain before, like the insanely awful “Very Bad Things,” in which the dead stripper is referred to as a “105 pound problem.” Comedies are welcome to test our moral flexibility, but it was extremely hard to get on board with the privileged cover-up antics of the “Rough Night” crew after the man bleeds out — no matter what narrative gymnastics they try to concoct to make it OK. Not even “Weekend at Bernie’s” had the gall to make the protagonists the murderers.

The thing is, there is a lot of funny in “Rough Night,” the directorial debut of Lucia Aniello, who wrote the script with her partner Paul W. Downs (he also plays the straight-laced fiance of Scarlett Johansson’s character). The comedy duo has the chops to make something wild and great — they’ve worked as co-producers and writers on the wonderfully manic millennial friendship comedy “Broad City,” which Aniello also directs occasionally.

For “Rough Night” they assembled a great (and brilliantly random) cast, including “Broad City’s” […]    

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