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Rough Night

Year: 2017
Production Co: Paulilu Productions
Director: Lucia Aniello
Writer: Lucia Aniello/Paul W Downs
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Zoë Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon, Ty Burrell, Demi Moore

Ages ago when Scarlett Johansson was on the cusp of fame she'd signed onto and filmed a lame high school comedy called The Perfect Score, but Lost In Translation had broken big and ScarJo herself might have nixed the release, not wanting the kind of movie an up and comer does for the exposure to sully her burgeoning reputation for arthouse quality... or it might have just flopped.

Rough Night is exactly the same kind of movie – a one note, trailer-worthy gag comedy of the sort an actress would do on the road to far better movies (or who'd been through an expensive flop like Ghost in The Shell and had to pay off a holiday house somewhere).

The only real surprise here is that one of the trailer-worthy gags – when the girls accidentally kill a male stripper – isn't just one of a collection of gags that loosely connect a 'grown girls gone wild' collection of skits and vignettes, it becomes the actual story.

With her buddies – never-grown-up Alice (Jillian Bell), straight laced Blair (Zoë Kravitz) and radical Frankie (Ilana Glazer) – political aspirant Jess (Johansson) agrees to a weekend away in Florida to unwind. She brings her Australian friend Pippa (Kate McKinnon), and suddenly the expensive beach house is crammed with four comic sidekicks.

When the girls end up with a dead male stripper on their hands, it sparks off a chain of events and comedy of errors as they try to decide what to do with the body and not derail Jess' political career and all go to jail in the process.

There are a few laugh out loud moments, but most of them (as always) are in the TV spots, and there aren't nearly enough of them.

Most of all – and look, it's just a silly disposable comedy and nobody wants to be a curmudgeon about it – but this is the 21st century and movies are supposed to be more international than ever. Is an American playing an Australian by putting on the stupidest broad accent really still funny in this day and age? Are we really still watching movies so Americans can laugh at popular foreign stereotypes?

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