Scarlett Johansson hangs out with elderly doppelganger

News during Rough Night premiere on Monday night, and the SNL star just couldn't stop gushing about her co-star Scarlett Johansson. The party also includes Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoë Kravitz), who were lovers when they were all in college 10 years ago, and Pippa (Kate McKinnon), Jess' friend from Australia. Things go awry when a male stripper hired to entertain the women accidentally end up dead, and the friends decide to stage an increasingly inept cover-up rather than simply calling the cops.

After doing shots and snorting cocaine, they summon a stripper (Ryan Cooper) to the house they've been loaned. As his seat falls back, his head cracks into the sharp edged fireplace ledge behind him. The women then spend the rest of the film trying to cover up the accidental murder as new complications arise. When Peter gets a call leading him to believe the wedding might be off, he faints. But that's a good thing, and you find yourself cringing and laughing in equal measure as they negotiate how the weekend is going to go. They're determined to make up for lost time - or at least Alice is, being the one of the four who never really grew up.

Meanwhile, Johansson said she found the script, "so streamlined".

As we've noted in previous reviews of not-good films, when we get the-oh-so exhausted, allegedly amusing group slo-mo walk in a movie, it's nearly always an indicator we're watching a lazy comedy. While the jokes become increasingly farcical as the night goes on, it's always weighted down by the reality of the relationships.

Everyone in the film is terrific, but the standouts are Bell and Downs. She doesn't have much to do, but she exudes stealth comic timing, able to upstage her flailing costars with the same coolness with which George Harrison quietly stole the Beatles movies. The fact that she's the sole memorable part of Office Christmas Party speaks volumes about her talent and screen presence, and with Rough Night she gets a real character to play rather than a memorable supporting turn. Not really a spoiler alert, cause I think that's the whole point of this movie, no? As for Downs, I won't spoil what happens to Peter, but Downs definitely puts himself out there when it comes to his character.

While Rough Night succeeds in bringing plenty of laughs, thanks to its hilarious cast and some well placed scenarios (an early moment in the airport was a stroke of genius), ultimately the film is a disjointed dark comedy that wants to exist in a genre populated by strokes of genius like Fargo, but is relegated to the likes of Bachelorette and, yes, The Hangover.

Not unlike superhero blockbusters, R-rated comedies have been dominated by men.

The best part of "Rough Night" is that, while it's not zippy or uproariously amusing, it's told from a woman's point of view.

  • Salvatore Jensen