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PLUGGED IN RATING

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Movie Review

Jess and her college girlfriends haven't been all that close since their dorm-room and beer-pong glory days. And things have changed a lot for them over the years, quite frankly. (Well, for most of them, anyway.)

Jess is now trying her less-than-sure hand at becoming a state senator. Outspoken Frankie has become something of a full-time postmodern radical. Blair is a sleek, well-groomed corporate type on the verge of divorce. And Jess's crazy best friend and roommate, Alice, is just … older.

They all still love each other, though, so it only makes sense that they'd gather for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami to celebrate Jess's upcoming nuptials.

Alice can hardly wait to indulge her lusty appetite for male flesh. And she soon pulls out a basketful of phallic-themed toys and food to emphasize that point.

The bride-to-be, meanwhile, is a wee bit hesitant to go too far with the wild-girl frolicking. I mean she does have a blossoming political career to protect. (Oh, and a marriage, for that matter.) But the other girls—including Jess's internet gal pal, Pippa, who flew in from Australia—all think it's time to pull out the stops and PARTY!

Of course, being modern women, that means they'll have a night of smoking pot, snorting coke and guzzling, well, everything. They'll flirt, strut, shake and generally get blisteringly blitzed. There will be interactions with a predatory, perma-baked cougar and her lecherous South American partner. And of course, there will be a whole lot of well-chiseled male stripper flesh to ogle (and more) while venting all their pent-up randy desires.

What could possibly go wrong with a night like that?

Positive Elements

Of course, a lot does go haywire, including a death and the threat of the women going to prison for manslaughter. However, after a night of epic recklessness there is a point at which the women recognize the strong bonds of their friendships.

In the midst of all that, Jess's fiancé, Peter, shows up to declare his unwavering love for her; and Jess and Peter actually do get married.

Spiritual Content

Characters look skyward and mutter "thank You" or "please, God" several times. Pippa says she visited a website to be quickly ordained.

Sexual Content

Female sexuality is a constant focus in this film. There's graphic talk about masturbation, sexting, sexually transmitted diseases, pubic hair, menstruation, oral sex and other sexual activities. Two women in the group were once reportedly a couple and now have rekindled their relationship. (We see them at a party dressed as a pair of large breasts in a bra.) They kiss, and there's talk about one of the woman's breasts.

Blair has a threesome with an older couple. A visually suggestive scene alludes to oral sex between the two women (happening just off camera). Later all three sit up, apparently naked but only seen from the shoulders up. Blair tells her friends about the experience.

A topless woman sunbathes, though her chest is covered by her hair. Women wear skimpy bathing suits or low-cut outfits. Jess' bare back and leg are visible through the opaque glass of a shower door. After her shower, her bathrobe opens, and a male observer reacts (though we don't see what he does).

Encounters with male strippers abound, with much ogling, rubbing and fondling repeatedly involved. One of them actually dies, but the women carry him around, fondle him and even kiss him after he's passed. We see men in G-strings, while a male college student wears a skin-tight, Borat-style thong bathing suit.

Guys discuss the changing attitude about exclusivity in a couple's sex life and suggest that being with a prostitute isn't technically cheating. Peter meets two men at a gas station looking for oral sex. Jess and Peter kiss.

Violent Content

A stripper falls backward and hits his head on a stone fireplace cornice. He's knocked out, bleeds copious amounts of blood and then dies. After that, his body is dragged, dropped, thrown about, sent flying from a speeding car and tossed into the ocean. A lawyer advises the women get rid of the body. Pippa suggests that they could cook and eat him like some other killer once did to his dead girlfriend.

During the above-mentioned ocean drop, Pippa steers her speeding Jet Ski up on shore and flips forward, landing on her head and neck. We hear her neck snap loudly, but she gets up and staggers away. Alice and Jess experience a number of thumps and bumps as they smack head first into door jams and slip and fall to the ground. A man is head-butted, knocking him cold and raising a large knot on his forehead. Two men are shot.

A thug manhandles Jess, slapping her and throwing her to the ground. Pippa worries that a drug cartel will cut off their toes. A dog bites Pippa's arm, leaving behind open wounds.

Crude or Profane Language

Between dialogue and the movie's soundtrack, we hear about 40 f-words and more than a dozen s-words. God's and Jesus' names are misused nearly 20 times, with God being combined with "d--n" once. The n-word and c-word are uttered as well. We hear multiple uses of "h---," "b--ch," "a--" and "d--n." People make crude hand gestures several times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

The partying women drink beer, wine, shots and mixed drinks. They drink, drink and drink some more. In fact, Alice vomits into her drink only to keep on drinking. The women also smoke marijuana and snort cocaine multiple times. Even after things get deadly, they keep consuming the drugs to … help them cope. Pippa tells of smoking an Australian root that induced a near-death experience.

While the women party into oblivion, Peter and his friends are having a wine tasting in his living room. We also see a bunch of college kids smoking and drinking at a party. Peter decides that he needs to drive all night to get to Jess. So he puts on an adult diaper and drives straight through, consuming Red Bull and popping Adderall the whole way. Peter also purchases and snorts meth at a gas station.

Other Negative Elements

Crude statements and visual gags abound throughout. For instance, in one college scene a drunken girl staggers into Jess and Alice's room and proceeds to drop her underwear and relieve herself in the corner. Many of those crudities have a sexual component, too, and are summarized above.

Conclusion

It may seem today's big screen bawdy buffoonery is something new. But no. People have been chortling over crude and raunchy gags at least as far back as Shakespearian times, and probably a lot longer than that.

No, Rough Night is nothing revolutionary. Except, perhaps, that in this case it's all women snorting drugs, vomiting in their drinks and regurgitating sordid details about their sexual history.

For example, after having a fling with the predatory, oversexed couple next door, Blair says, "I probably have HPV." To which bride-to-be Jess replies "Whatever, we all have HPV." Alice, meanwhile, doubts she has the sexually transmitted disease. Yet another character declares authoritatively, "If you've had sex after 1991, then you do have HPV." That prompts Alice to note just how much HPV she must have.

That's what passes as comedy here. The irony is that our comedic culture is so full of these low-brow gags that the gross jokes in Rough Night barely shock, let alone provoke a laugh.

Unfortunately, for a certain youthful slice of our society, this sort of ribald farce is the only cinematic comedy they know. They don't know the joys of subtle wordplay or a thoughtful, nuanced application of wit. They've never experienced a well-written humorous patter. Comedy for them is little more than this sort of bottom-feeding, in-your-face drivel.

Ain't that a shame?

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

R

Readability Age Range

Genre

Comedy

Author

Cast

Scarlett Johansson as Jess; Jillian Bell as Alice; Zoë Kravitz as Blair; Ilana Glazer as Frankie; Kate McKinnon as Pippa; Paul W. Downs as Peter; Ty Burrell as Pietro; Demi Moore as Lea

Director

Lucia Aniello ( )

Distributor

Columbia Pictures

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

June 16, 2017

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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