ROUGH NIGHT — Review by Martha Baker

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From the Changed Mind Department: “Rough Night” is not just a female version of “Hangover.” Yes, there are vulgarities, but women talk dirty, too. Yes, there is bawdiness, but women are fully capable of being nasty. Most of all, “Rough Night” is about women’s true and evolving friendships. ‘Rough Night’ involves spinsters at play. Continue reading…

The film opens with a group of women acting stupid at college. Fast forward 10 years ahead, and Jessica is running for office while planning her wedding — serious stuff. Her friend Alice has planned a party for her, a so-called “bachelorette” bash. Sidenote: was there ever a word that so proved that being a man is preferable to being female than “bachelorette”? Spinsters were important members of a community because they spun the wool, but being one was so dreaded that being the -ette version of a bachelor took precedence. Aaarrrgggh.

Joining the group on Miami are Blair, a gorgeous young thing, and Frankie, an activist with two strikes against her before being jailed. These four women find themselves with a corpse that needs hiding. In their efforts to hide the body of a hunk, they find true friendship after truths spill forth.

Also spilled forth is a pair of sun-glasses that may be gross to some, but they work in the moment.

Scarlett Johansson, good since 1996’s “Manny and Lo,” works well as the constrained candidate. Jillian Bell defines the needy Alice, Zoë Kravitz sustains her role, Kate McKinnon is weak as the Aussie friend, and Ilana Glazer brings off the activist. Among the men is Paul Downs, who co-wrote with director Lucia Aniello, who has worked with Glazer on “Broad City.”

Go for the broad humor of “Rough Night”; stay because that’s what friends do. What you laugh at will say a lot about who you are. Such is life.

This is Martha Baker with a KDHX film review of “Rough Night.”

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Martha K. Baker

I first taught film at Lakeland College in Wisconsin in 1969 and became a professional film reviewer in 1976 in St. Louis, Mo. Through the years, I have reviewed films for the St. Louis Business Journal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Episcopal Life, and KWMU (NPR), among other outlets. I've reviewed at KDHX radio, my current outlet, for nearly 20 years.