Last night, on a balmy, beautiful Wednesday in Brooklyn I, (along with others) had the special pleasure of becoming part of a club. One who got to christen the beginning of Rooftop Films summer series, but more importantly, became the first to enjoy an outdoor movie on the top of the William Vale Hotel. It’s the highest anyone has ever gotten… as far as film-watching is concerned at least. Outdoor movies have come a long way. What began as a long standing Bryant Park tradition has morphed into an intense summer program consisting of dozens of locations and hundreds of movie options. An excuse to meet up with friends, drink a bottle of wine in public without judgement and for some, watch films on a big screen they might never otherwise see. The Rooftop film series prides itself on watching cool movies from even cooler settings high atop the city. Last night in conjunction with Sony Pictures, they kicked off summer with a screening of Rough Night. Keep reading to get some nuggets on a Rough Night review. More importantly, take a glimpse into the flick that inspired it and make sure you add it to the queue asap.
Rough Night follows the bachelorette party of hopeful senator Jess and her clan of girlfriends; all close since college and each in their own little genre. Jess, Scarlet Johansen is the party girl turned politician. Alice, (Jillian Bell), the “lethally horny” best friend, Glazer, the pothead delinquent, Zoe Kravitz as Blair, her impeccably dressed, seemingly calmer ex lover and Pip, the crazy Australian and Jess’s bestie since her travel abroad days. An Aussie accented Kate Mckinnon who has some slick one liners. When Alice plans a weekend in Miami troublesome antics anxiously await. However, a night of coke and dancing soon turns much more intense when they accidentally kill their hired stripper. What follows is a mix of clever jokes, mistaken identities, and lots of cliche hi jinx.
Role Reversal remakes are one of the biggest trends in Hollywood right now, and Rough Night is one of the first in a long line of upcoming films flipping the script. This particular remake has been on my radar ever since one of my favorite movie blogs revealed they’ed be making an all female remake of the ’98 black comedy Very Bad Things. Though I can’t truly endorse this new role reversal trend, (and more on those issues later), I eagerly anticipated a new version of one of my favorite films. Rough Night follows the formula of its predecessor initially. A group of bachelors, in this case, bachelorettes are an otherwise good group of women thrown into an unfortunate situation when an overzealous, coked up member of the group accidentally kills their entertainment. From there, the evening escalates. From here, though, Rough Night takes a sharp turn, veering far away from the dark, and edgy and further into the silly and predictable. The movie’s premise and pieces of it are inspired by Very Bad Things. But this version doesn’t quite follow suit, instead feeling more The Hangover meets Bridesmaids, with a little Weekend at Bernies mixed in. The dark humor and disturbing themes of the first movie are nowhere to be found, instead replaced with a more Hollywood mentality and ending. BFF jealousy, mistaken identities, and a confused spouse to be on the other end of the phone are all familiar topics at play here. And of course, no chick flick is complete without a dance sequence and college flashback scene.
Rough Night does, however, have some standout moments. For one, a killer quick dialogue filled with razor sharp wit, and true crime references any Dateline addict like myself will notice, and love. A poster hanging on Jess’s wall in college references an obscure 80’s Cyndi Lauper movie which surprised and delighted me. Probably because I have that very movie, much to my husband’s perplexed confusion in our DVR at this very moment. And whomever decided to reference the 80’s flick is someone I’d probably enjoy having a rough night with myself. Several cameos also add some light hearted fun, including Phil Dunfey as you’ve never seen him before, and Bloodline actor Enrique Muriciano who seems to have perfected one particular characteristic of each role he plays. Since I pride myself on spoiler free reviews, I won’t give that particular ‘trait’ away.
Sitting high above Williamsburg last night I was reminded of summer nights out in the city. It had been ages since I was ensconced in that stylish setting but at the William Vale Hotel, it was just another packed Wednesday night out filled with fabulous ladies. At it’s core, the female driven movie is about those friendships. The ones you cherish, the ones that annoy you, the ones you get into trouble with and the ones who have your back. Mixed in with a little death, drugs, and destruction. Rough Night may be missing edginess, and some of the key elements that would’ve made it a better remake. Despite that, this Rough Night review still condones checking out the comedy with girlfriends this weekend. But, if you’re a movie buff, or looking for a really good movie to watch, stay home instead and rent Very Bad Things.