‘Rough Night’ – Film Review

Broad City stars bring their unique surreal humour to this darkly funny buddy comedy

Broad City has been one of the most influential TV comedies in recent years and Rough Night sees three of its stars bring its surreal, boundary-pushing humour to the silver screen. Ilana Glazer stars as the familiar Frankie, an unemployed weed smoker who’s also something of a firebrand, while the movie was created by Lucia Aniello (recurring director on the US programme) and Paul Downs (the show’s overzealous gym trainer Trey).

Like the hit series, Rough Night succeeds at being out of the ordinary. Yes, there are scenes in the club, sexual innuendo aplenty and heartwarming moments of true friendship and bonding, but it also throws more plotline curveballs than any other bachelorette-themed female buddy movie going.

Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is an uptight politician running for office while also trying to prepare for her wedding day. If that wasn’t stressful enough, she’s heading off to Miami to celebrate her last days as a single woman with her chaotic old college roommates (Glazer, Jillian Bell and Zoë Kravitz) and Pippa (the lung-burstingly funny Kate McKinnon), her best friend from a year abroad in Australia.

What starts off as a weekend of fun soon descends into one of bickering, b***hiness and – when an apparent stripper turns up at their plush beach rental – a bit of accidental murder. The ensuing cover-up is where the film really comes into its own. When a phone call with Jess’s fiancé Peter (Downs) is abruptly ended so he doesn’t catch on that something’s not right, he leaves his own, far more civilised party to drive through the night, encountering a series of hilarious obstacles along the way.

The women’s attempts to dispose of the body, meanwhile, land them in situations that are both farcical and gripping, causing the characters’ flaws to pierce through the veneer of wacky jokes with alarming pace. It’s this that makes you root for them – even Bell’s jealous and insecure Alice – and, ultimately, what makes each minute increasingly watchable. Rough Night is comedic carnage that will leave you in hysterics and, quite possibly, with a new fear of hen dos.

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