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Film review: Rough Night – Scarlett Johansson and her girls go wild in risible comedy

This comedy about cover-up of the accidental death of a male stripper on a hen night is a misogynistic comedy with the roles reversed – but jokes are lame

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 July, 2017, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 July, 2017, 12:00pm

1/5 stars

This risible film shows that lowbrow comedies starring women can be as idiotic as those starring men.

Following the template of last year’s cliched Bad Moms , Rough Night ups the ante by featuring cocaine use, an accidental death, and some unappealing penis masks. A film in which the girls go at it hell for leather while the boys wimp out at a wine tasting seems like a winner on paper, but the result here is just plain dumb.

Ironically for a girls’ film, Rough Night reflects the storyline of a misogynistic film about the death of a prostitute, 1998’s Very Bad Things, but reverses the genders.

A bunch of college friends, including aspiring politician Jess (Scarlett Johansson), reunite 10 years after graduation for a bachelorette party in Miami. Egged on by the dirty-talking Alice (Jillian Bell), the girls snort cocaine and accidentally kill a male stripper. Fearing imprisonment, they try to dispose of the body.

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Crass antics and pratfalls can be fun if done well, and girls have just as much right to lowbrow humour as boys. Rough Night’s failing is that the jokes aren’t funny, and the antics, while crude, are silly rather than outrageous; one alleged joke involves Jess’ husband-to-be wearing nappies on a long car trip so he can urinate into them without stopping the car.

Comedic timing is absent throughout, and even the physical humour is botched. The mainly female cast look like they’re having more fun acting out the lowbrow japes than the audience will have watching them.

Rough Night opens on July 27

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