Rough Night, C+
Rated R, 101 minutes
The fun and familiar new comedy "Rough Night" isn't always smooth sailing, but it has enough boundless energy to still provide some raunchy laughs, thanks to a talented cast. It's nothing you haven't seen before - essentially "Bridesmaids" meets "Weekend at Bernie's," but you'll still have a decent time.
Five best friends (Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Zoë Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon) from college reunite 10 years later for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Their hard partying takes a hilariously dark turn when they accidentally kill a male stripper. Amid the craziness of trying to cover it up, they're ultimately brought closer together when it matters most.
"Rough Night" is directed by "Broad City's" Lucia Aniello and co-written by Aniello and Paul W. Downs, who also co-stars as Johansson's fiance, the charming "Rough Night" is the latest variation of the girls-gone-dirty theme. It's a mixed bag: some of it works well, some of it falls flat, but it held together by an appealing and game cast who holds it together during some of its flimsier moments and an over-the-top finale that isn't well-thought out or integrated.
"Rough Night" has a few too many unnecessary characters floating in and out, particularly all of the groomsmen, as well as an icky, open-relationship, free-wheeling couple, played by Demi Moore and Ty Burrell, who give one of the friends a threesome she won't soon forget. Aniello and Downs could've worked better to make it a leaner, tighter story, excising many unneeded characters and subplots; as long as it sticks to the 5 friends, it works best.
On that note, it comes as no surprise that "Saturday Night Live" veteran and Emmy-winner Kate McKinnon gets the most laughs, in a thick (and hilarious) Australian accent; she's fearless and will do just about anything for a laugh - including wrestling with a huge dog or riding a jet-ski into dry land, and the film benefits from her energy. Jillian Bell, who was memorable in the recent comedies "22 Jump Street" and the recent "Fist Fight," is also solid as the best friend who can't seem to let go of the past.
Johansson's good though clearly not as funny as some of her colleagues (especially anytime McKinnon is onscreen), who also include Zoe Kravitz and "Broad City" star Illana Glazer. The first act is hilarious, the second OK, though the shenanigans reach an annoying level in the uber-busy climax and third act, with so much and so many people running around, you'll be a little dizzy from it all.
"Bridesmaids" did this thing a little better, but "Rough Night" is fun primarily because its cast has fun and seems to be enjoying themselves. It's not great, but it'll do for a quick laugh or two in a pinch.