Kernel Blake reviews the latest in drunken comedy with ROUGH NIGHT. THE HANGOVER meets WEEKEND WITH BERNIES starring an all lead female cast – the exact words no doubt used to pitch this to studios. Surprisingly Blake loved it – this is not usually the type of movie I would expect Blake to love so take it as a good sign this is probably half decent. My bad on the posting of the review – thought it was releasing this week and not last week. Out now from Sony Pictures Releasing, it runs for 101mins and is rated MA15+. Enjoy Blake’s thoughts………all the best………..JK.


Genuine, gut-bustingly funny movies have been few and far between over the last few years. Heading into ROUGH NIGHT, I was struggling to think of the last time I laughed out loud during a Hollywood comedy. THE HANGOVER maybe? This bodes well for ROUGH NIGHT as its presented as a female version of that film, helmed by BROAD CITY director Lucia Aniello.


Rough Night Movie Poster image
(L to R) Blair (Zoë Kravitz), Alice (Jillian Bell), Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Frankie (Illana Grazer) and Pippa (Kate McKinnon)



ROUGH NIGHT starts in 2006 with college roommates & BFFs Jess (Scarlett Johansson, THE AVENGERS) and Alice (Jillian Bell, WORKAHOLICS) playing beer pong at a frat party, beating the guys at their own game. With the rest of their quartet, Blair (Zoë Kravitz, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS) and Frankie (Ilana Glazer, BROAD CITY), egging them on, the raunchy humour gets going from the opening scene, setting the tone for the rest of the film.

Cut to ten years later and this inseparable group of girls have started to grow apart, each focussing on their lives and careers. Jess is running for state senate, Alice is a school teacher, Blair a rich successful woman going through a custody battle and Frankie, the hippie activist, sticking it to the man.

With Jess’ upcoming wedding, the girls come together once more for a weekend of debauchery in Miami for the bachelorette party. Planned down to the minute by clingy and overzealous Alice, ROUGH NIGHT gets off to a rough start with some hilarious moments inside an airport.

With Jess wanting to keep a relatively low-profile, due to her running for senate and not wanting any scandal, she is soon convinced by the rest of the group to hit the town and party like its 1999. This is where things in ROUGH NIGHT go from better, to bad, to worse. Joined by Jess’ late arriving Australian friend, Pippa (Kate McKinnon, GHOSTBUSTERS) the girls hit the town pumped up on Bolivian marching powder and far too many drinks.


Rough Night Movie image
(L to R) Blair (Zoë Kravitz), Alice (Jillian Bell), Scotty (Ryan Cooper), Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Frankie (Illana Grazer)



Back at their house for the weekend, the girls continue partying while they wait for their entertainment to arrive, in the ripped shape of a male stripper. Needless to say, things don’t go well for them. Alice, still buzzing from nose candy and years overdue for a solid shag, leaps on the stripper, knocking him back and cracking his head open.

With a dead stripper, mounds of cocaine and no idea what to do, the girls freak out and do whatever they can to hide the body and avoid embroiling Jess in a scandal before her wedding day and the impending election. From here ROUGH NIGHT keeps the laughs coming as the girls avoid the prying eyes of their amorous, swinging neighbours played brilliantly by Ty Burrell (MODERN FAMILY) and surprisingly Demi Moore. Seriously, where has she been all these years?!

While all this craziness is going on, Jess’ fiancé, Peter (Paul W. Downs, BROAD CITY), is back in Washington having his version of a rowdy stag night with his buddies. By rowdy, I mean an in-depth wine tasting session that goes off the hook when dessert wines are introduced. When a panicked Jess calls Peter to confess their crime, a miscommunication leads Peter to believe the wedding is off. In another great sequence, Peter pulls a “sad astronaut” and drives through the night to rescue his damsel in distress.


Combining elements of THE HANGOVER, VERY BAD THINGS and to an extent WEEKEND AT BERNIES, ROUGH NIGHT delivers a lot of laughs, even though the film goes exactly the way you know it’s going to from the beginning. Friends fall out, hijinks with a dead body ensue, dick jokes abound and everything works out for everyone in the end. No surprises, but still a lot of fun to be had with some genuinely funny moments.


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Ryan Cooper, Jillian Bell, Zoe Kravitz, Scarlett Johansson and Ilana Glazer



The cast of ROUGH NIGHT really play well off each other, Johansson is pretty much the ‘straight-man’ to the rest of the group, with the majority of laughs coming from the hilarious McKinnon. For the most part, she nails her Aussie accent and devours plenty of Vegemite on screen. That’s got to be a first. Jillian Bell plays the neurotic, clingy best friend very well and Kravitz supports the girls ably, with each member of the group getting some great lines.

Fans of the great BROAD CITY will really dig ROUGH NIGHT, with director Aniello and stars Glazer & Downs reuniting to bring plenty of laughs that the series is well known for. Special mention goes to Ty Burrell and Demi Moore who only appear on screen for a few minutes but give plenty of laughs playing the overly sexual neighbours, popping up to provide plenty of sexual in-your-end-o and make life tough for the girls.


ROUGH NIGHT doesn’t rewrite the rulebook on adult, raunchy comedies. While it doesn’t deviate from the formula that has been used successfully in the past, it has its own style and provides plenty of fun and laughs.

A solid, fun and hysterical movie, ROUGH NIGHT is well worth a watch.





Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life. Like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. He can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.


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