Lost Comedic Value and Why ‘Rough Night’ Is a Light in the Tunnel

Many of you know how strong I feel about the importance of well-made entertaining movies. For those of you who don’t, in short, I believe that there should be a lot more good entertaining films since most people look for exactly that in a movie – entertainment. However, most Hollywood producers have put their creative minds behind bars: they either produce very heavy productions that are well-made or lighthearted and chill comedies that, however, suck. What about that sweet middle? Where are all the films that are funny and entertaining, but also good?

When I’ve talked about this in the past I’ve referred to films like ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ or ‘John Wick‘. You know, just ordinary entertainment. Never have I talked about entertaining movies and meant specifically comedies.

But today is that day. Today is the day where I rant about the fact there there were no comedies in the last couple of years.

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And I don’t mean entertaining films that have a comedic twist in them, because there are actually many good films that are an example of just that. Both movies mentioned above fall into that category. No, I mean stereotypical and ordinary comedies. Like ‘American Pie’ or ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ or ‘The Hangover’. I’m talking about that genre of movies: comedies that are not very original or deep, but that serve their purpose to be funny and that are actually good productions.

And lately, we have been missing that. No good pure comedy entertainment has come out in recent years. All those films like ‘The Neighbors’ or ‘We’re the Millers’ or ‘Due Date’, they are all fine movies that strive to reach the generic ‘I’m fifty and I have nothing to do this Sunday afternoon’ audience, but absolutely nothing more. They don’t strive to outstand themselves or any other production for that matter. They don’t even strive to make you laugh. Counting on the same bad self-ironic jokes and the same generic and boring stereotypical characters, it’s exactly these comedies that are currently ruining the comedic industry and that lead us to a more depressing future.

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Of course, it’s not the producers fault. It’s the moviegoer’s fault. This Friday night I may want to see ‘Moonlight’ and, sure, my one friend who is interested in films as much as I am (that’s you, Asenka) may also want to see ‘Moonlight’, but most of the people I know would much rather stream some s**t flick with Adam Sandler than to see something as depressing and as heavy as this year’s Oscar winner.

In short, we, the public, demand s**t comedy movies and thus Hollywood continues making s**t comedy movies. Sticking to the same patterns and same format, Hollywood continues to produce the absolutely same comedies that may or may not give you a chuckle or two, but will surely give you nothing more.

And this is exactly why I was so delighted when I saw ‘Rough Night’.

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When I watch any movie there is just one general thing that I want: for it to be good. That probably includes a number of factors that I’ve, personally, decided that classify a film as good, but as soon as the production covers most or all of my factors, I will be happy. When I watch any comedy movie I also want one general thing: for it to serve its purpose. Meaning, I want it to be funny. You may judge me that this is my main concern, but that is the main purpose of comedies – to make the viewer laugh.

I’m delighted to say that ‘Rough Night’ is both a great film and a funny one.

It’s not perfect. Of course, there are a few cliches all throughout, but not so much that it bothers me. Other than that, everything is a little bit above average. The characters are developed well, the story is interesting and, surprising enough, actually quite original, and the general premise of the film kept my interest.

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‘Rough Night’ is constantly extremely self-ironic. But in a good way, I mean. It brings much of the comedy through making fun of the characters and the events, but in a very clever way. ‘Rough Night’ understands that it’s ridiculous and it uses that. It takes every opportunity to bring out its flaws and its characters’ flaws. It’s genius because it doesn’t count on one-liners or mediocre writing to be what it is, but rather on self-irony and satire of the world.

But let’s get to the real question at hand: why is it funny? Why is it that I haven’t laughed out loud once while watching a ‘comedy’ this last year (literally), but yet I couldn’t put the smile off my face while watching this particular production? A couple of reasons.

To begin with, the self-irony that I mentioned above. ‘Rough Night’ not only knows what it is and what it strives to achieve, but it also makes fun of that. Plus, the above mediocre writing. And note, I’m not saying perfect, I’m saying above mediocre. There was a lot more room to grow, but the one-liners were still pretty funny on themselves and I think the ridiculous plot also gave a lot to the general comedic value to the flick.

But mainly? The acting.

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The brilliantly casted leads actually make the whole movie what it is. Many of those lines wouldn’t have made me laugh if it wasn’t for the way there are said. Of course, the characters were written funny and thus the actors could portray them funny and of course, there are many ridiculous situations throughout the film that make you laugh, but it mostly all comes from the actors. They all do a fantastic job and they all managed to make me laugh all throughout ‘Rough Night’. And as I said before, I rarely laugh while watching comedies.

There was a moment when seeing one character’s reaction after waking up made me almost tear up from laughter. And I kid you not, a grin was on my face anytime that ‘Australian’ girl opened her mouth.

And it’s not just me. I’ve discussed ‘Rough Night’ with several people, some of whom have a very good understanding of films, and they all said they found it profoundly funny. It’s a genius combo of self-irony, good one-liners, well-written characters, ridiculous situations, and fantastic acting. I’m not saying the movie is perfect, but it serves its purpose and I love that.

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We are so close to losing all comedic value. The public demands s**t films and Hollywood supplies s**t films. Demand and supply, it’s a law, what are you going to do? However, movies like ‘Rough Night’ really bring out my positive side in this matter. When I see a good comedy film, I can’t help myself but be happy. Maybe there is hope after all? Maybe there is indeed a light in the tunnel? Maybe we will, finally, see a bit more good comedies and a bit less awful productions?

But I’m not going to get too optimistic. This depends, after all, on what the people want. And in my experience, I’ve learned that most people don’t even want to watch good movies.


Did you enjoy this article? What’s your favorite comedy movie? Have you seen ‘Rough Night’? Did you like it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, please. Also, don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE this article if you enjoyed it and SUBSCRIBE to Our Movie Life.

As always, thank you so much for reading,

Mickey Angelov