Rough Night

Movie review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Rough Night Movie Poster Image
Mature, over-the-top comedy is too dark to be truly funny.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Though this comedy ends on a "BFFs forever!" note, with the characters clearly headed into happy futures, that doesn't change the fact that most of the rest of the story was filled with death and mayhem. Some jokes at larger characters' expense.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters make choices that are iffy at best and morally bankrupt, illegal, and evil at worst. Plus, they're types, rather than people, and they exhibit very little range or anti-stereotypical behavior -- though there is a late-in-the-game emotional breakdown followed by make-up hugging and crying. Some diversity within the cast.

Violence

Three characters die/are killed; one of the deaths is abrupt and shocking and leads to pools of blood and a body-disposal problem. Another is bludgeoned in the face by a heavy sculpture (in self-defense), and another is hit by a car. At no time does anyone express grief for the loss of life or the impact on the dead characters' loved ones; the deaths barely seem to matter (because the characters are criminals?) and are called "good murder" at the movie's end. A dead body is shown at great length, participating in various ridiculous scenes: propped up in a leather sex swing with a silly mask on, kissed on a beach by a woman trying to pretend he's alive, etc. Violence is frequently played for laughs -- as in scenes in which a dead man catapults out of the top of a car's sunroof.

Sex

One character participates in a three-way with a horny couple in order to shore up an alibi; she's depicted receiving oral sex from the woman with her legs in the air, shrieking (the other woman's body covers her private parts). The main characters are on a bachelorette weekend, so penises are everywhere: penis straws, penis pasta, a Groucho mask with a penis nose that appears on the face of a dead man, etc. One partygoer explains that the women will be "swimming in d--k." An extended sequence features a man wearing adult diapers on a road trip. Jokes reference infidelity, sexually transmitted diseases, sex toys, sexual fetishes, picking up strangers at gas stations to pay them for sex acts, and other mature topics. 

Language

Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "motherf-----r," "hell," "damn," "bitch," "c--t," "ass," "a--hole," "d--k," "p---y," "dips--t," etc.

Consumerism

Frequently visible brands/products include liquor, cars, and phones. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters are out to party/get wasted and consume huge amounts of liquor, screaming "shots!" and trying to get as drunk as they can. They also smoke pot (in an apple bong) and repeatedly snort cocaine. A man who has to make a long car ride is given "expired" prescription pep pills from a foreign country to stay awake; he also plays a middleman for a methamphetamine purchase. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rough Night is a dark, over-the-top bachelorette-party-gone-wrong comedy starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, and more. Expect binge drinking, drug use, crude sexual situations, strong language, and violence played for laughs. Three people are killed during the movie; their deaths are joked about and/or blithely explained away. A dead body stars in a number of visual gags: propped up in a leather sex swing with a goofy mask on, kissed by a woman trying not to let others discover he's dead, etc. Characters try to dispose of a dead body to evade murder charges; they clean up a large pool of blood with towels. Sexual situations include a three-way scene in which a woman receiving implied oral sex shrieks and moans (no graphic nudity). Jokes also reference infidelity, sexually transmitted diseases, sex toys, fetishes, picking up strangers at gas stations to pay them for sex acts, and other mature topics. Characters who want to get wasted drink tons of liquor, including champagne and shots; they vomit and make fatal mistakes under the influence. They also snort cocaine, smoke pot, take pills to stay awake, and buy methamphetamine. Frequent strong language includes "hell," "damn," "bitch," "c--t," "ass," "f--k," and more.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17 year old Written byKim99 June 20, 2017
It was the most poorly scripted movie I have seen in memory. Stupid plot lines, it became a murder movie more than a comedy. I left shaking my head. Time I can... Continue reading
Adult Written byOh M. June 24, 2017

Its rough to watch rough night.

This has been one of the worst movie I have ever seen, many people walked out during this movie. Who could blame them.. it was rough watching rough night. The... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byDebstart12 June 22, 2017
Teen, 13 years old Written byMeg1829 August 15, 2017

Good for teens

This is a good movie and kids will hear about this stuff one day and they probably already know all of it. It has a good story line and is very funny

What's the story?

When five old friends head to Miami to throw a bachelorette bash for Jess (Scarlett Johansson), they have no idea what a ROUGH NIGHT they're in for. A decade ago, these friends were party monsters who could hold their own in beer pong; now they've grown up (somewhat). Jess is running for state senator and engaged to the adoring Peter (Paul W. Downs); Blair (Zoe Kravitz) is embroiled in a custody battle; Frankie (Ilana Glazer) is a full-time social justice warrior; Pippa (Kate McKinnon) is living a free-spirit life in Australia; and Alice (Jillian Bell) is a teacher who cares for her Alzheimer's-stricken mother (yet is still the same needy party girl she was in college). When the friends decide to go slightly crazy and hire a stripper, things get really bad, really fast when he accidentally ends up dead. Now the partiers have a problem -- do they hide the body and hope nobody notices anything? Or do they face the potentially life-ruining consequences? 

Is it any good?

To steal a quip from Roger Ebert (writing about 1998's more-than-superficially similar Very Bad Things), "this isn't a bad movie, just a reprehensible one." Rough Night wants you to laugh at things that are very much not funny (the deaths of three people), as well as things that used to be funny -- we've seen enough women acting up in films by now that the sight of them, say, snorting coke in a bathroom stall is no longer hilarious. Jokes about tampons: No longer funny. Gags that involve a chubby character accidentally bowling someone over: No longer funny. An extended sequence that involves a man "sad astronaut"-ing on a road trip (wearing adult diapers so that he won't have to make bathroom stops): Very very much no longer funny. Particularly since said man inexplicably wears nothing but the diapers in the car -- he wouldn't put on pants over them? No? Pants do fit over diapers. And was there a reason why he and his friends bought seven boxes (!) of diapers at the drugstore? Just how much was he planning to pee? 

It's all a shame, because the actors are all strong, and the behind-the-scenes folks are truly talented: writer/director Lucia Aniello and co-writer Paul W. Downs (who also plays Peter) are two of the powers-that-be behind Broad City. How is it that these fresh, funny folks have created this over-the-top mishmash of cliches from other, better movies (chiefly Bridesmaids and The Hangover)? What went wrong? And how can we keep whatever happened from happening again? Because this misbegotten movie isn't just largely unfunny; it's almost depressing. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Rough Night compares to similar films starring men. Is this kind of humor any less funny when women are the instigators? Do you think it appeals to the same audience?

  • How are drinking, drug use, and over-the-top behavior depicted? Is the film condoning or glamorizing any of this? Do characters face realistic consequences for their actions? Why does that matter?

  • Female friendships are relatively rare in movies. What other movies can you think of that center on groups of female friends? How is Rough Night similar to and different from movies like Bridesmaids or Bachelorette?  

  • Talk about the ritual of the bachelorette party -- is it a chance for real bonding or an excuse to behave badly? How realistic do you think weekend parties like this are (aside from the deaths, that is)?

Movie details

For kids who love comedy

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