A mostly female cast gathers for director Lucia Aniello's Rough Night, which reveals just how bad a bachelorette weekend with college friends can get, especially when male strippers are involved. If this plot seems a bit tired to you, you're not alone. The movie has a lackluster approval rating of about 50% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, despite big-name stars such as Scarlett Johannson and Kate McKinnon. Samples:
- Rough Night "offers a few sight gags that are pure, dumb genius" and "is at its best when it catches the precise crosscurrent between sleazy and breezy." But when the movie takes a dark turn, "it starts to fall apart," Stephanie Zacharek writes at Time. "As Hangover-style dumb entertainments go, it's certainly good enough," she adds, but she isn't sure this is "anything close" to what women want to see.
- Owen Gleiberman, on the other hand, says Rough Night is "a perfect example of why Hollywood needs (many) more women filmmakers." Though its formula is quite "derivative," its female perspective makes it fresh, he writes at Variety. The best elements: "the feisty, claws-out spontaneity of its competitive banter between 'sisters' who love and hate each other" and Jillian Bell, "the film's comic spark plug."
- Leah Greenblatt was less tickled. Rough Night is "a raunchy, wildly off-the-rails farce" that "feels like the summer-movie equivalent of a fidget spinner: shiny, manic, and spiraling to nowhere," she writes at Entertainment Weekly. She does commend the casting—naming Ty Burrell and Demi Moore, who play a swingers couple—but adds the actors have to deal with a "loose cannon of a script."
- "Well, at least they got the title right," begins Adam Graham at the Detroit News. The rest of his review is no less harsh. "Rough Night is a dismal, excruciating experience, a tired retread of raunchy comedy tropes that can't be bothered to come up with any funny or original bits," he writes. Like one of its characters on cocaine, "it's frantic, scattered and convinced of its own greatness," then "empty and rather sad."
(Read more movie review