The upcoming film Rough Night is being marketed as the next feel-good comedy for raunchy feminist women looking for a film that portrays women as “women.” Starring Scarlett Johansson (who is currently taking an L for Ghost in the Shell), Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon, Demi Moore, Colton Haynes, Jillian Bell, Ty Burrell, Dean Winters, Ilana Glazer, and Karan Soni, the film follows a group of best friends who meet in Miami Beach to celebrate one of their own’s wedding, only to somehow kill a male stripper. The film will be in theaters June 16.
Here’s the red band trailer for you see the film for yourself:
Are you on the fence about seeing this movie? If you need help getting your mind together, here are some things we can glean from the trailer and Twitter chatter that might help.
The racial representation is low: Kravitz and Soni are the only people of color in the main cast (I guess, if you want to be technical about, you can include Ty Burrell since he did find out he has black ancestry…but he’s as black as I am East Asian. We’ll still welcome him in the Racial Draft, though.) It’s a shame that, as much as Kravitz has talked openly about racism in the casting office, she’s still relegated to being “the black friend” in a movie. There’s no telling what Soni’s character “Raviv” does. But one can assume he’s not a major character.
Not mentioned in this rundown is Enrique Murciano. He could very well be a part of the main cast, but as of this post, his character hasn’t been named on IMDB, which points in the direction of him being a minor character. However, we’ll have to see once the film is released to theaters.
The fat jokes are many, just in the trailer: So, the trailer spoils for us that Jillian Bell’s character Alice is the one who kills the stripper by basically jumping on his lap, but actually landing on his neck, with the brute force propelling the poor guy on his back, where his head hits the hard tile floor, causing a fatal brain (and possibly neck) injury. Quite gruesome. But what’s also gruesome is that the death is played as the punchline to the age-old joke of the plus-size woman being somehow grotesque, foolish, and less-than the other skinnier women she’s surrounded by. It’s no mistake that the one getting married is Johansson, not Bell.
Minor gay representation in the cast, no word on their characters’ sexualities: We do have out actors Haynes and McKinnon as a part of this film, but their characters are probably straight, if we go by Hollywood history.
The fact that the film’s jokey premise rests on a male stripper being brutally killed while doing his job: The real victim of this story aren’t the women at the bachelorette party; it’s the dude who was doing his job that night. I know the film is trying to pull a Weekend at Bernie’s thing, but I don’t think storylines like that are going to fly nowadays, especially since the guy at the center of this story is an innocent guy just trying to make a living. At least Bernie was in with the mob! He knew the risks! (Not that his being a criminal precludes he should die, but you get what I’m saying.)
Look, strippers have lives too, and his life should be given some sort of acknowledgement instead of just using him as a prop to advance the story.
Twitter isn’t really feeling this film for that reason:
Support Black talent. If y'all go pay to see Rough Night, you can also go see Girls Trip too. RN in theaters June 16. GT on July 21. pic.twitter.com/A7kpzZTECU
— ferdosa (@atomicwick) March 9, 2017
Because it's 2017 and this is the movie we get from our allegedly feminist writers and actresses of Hollywood. ????? @roughnightmovie pic.twitter.com/iyWR9KdfAu
— Jacq the Stripper (@JacqTheStripper) March 10, 2017
how critics are gonna talk about @girlstripmovie vs. @RoughNightMovie. pic.twitter.com/EIrH4qwas2
— ashley ray (@arayyay) March 12, 2017
IDK, how about not murdering sex workers for lulz? https://t.co/102S8hqqIS
— chelsea g. summers (@chelseagsummers) March 9, 2017
are you serious? Women in sex work are murdered constantly & you think it's an appropriate & even funny film premise?
— Tiss ?️? (@NaturallyTiss) March 9, 2017
i am so pissed at this rough night movie, you guys. sex workers are not disposable. their lives are not jokes.
— broke cat parent (@fairyocarina) March 9, 2017
Refinery 29 has more on why folks are upset.
“First thing’s first: Strippers are people, and sex workers unfortunately have to tirelessly remind people of this over and over. ‘Sex workers are very marginalized groups of people who don’t have the same workplace safety and rights as other workers—and we get murdered a lot,’” says Arabelle Raphael, a porn performer and sex worker in Los Angeles. ‘Our lives are seen as disposable.’ A long-term mortality study on sex workers found that active sex workers have a mortality rate of 459 per 100,000 people—to put that in perspective, the general public mortality rate is around 1.9 per every 100,000 people.”
In short, this film just might become another L Johansson will have to live with. She certainly is getting red on her film ledger, indeed.
As if to act as a counter, Girls Trip will be hitting theaters July 21. The film, starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Kofi Siriboe and Larenz Tate, features a group of girlfriends who go on a road trip to the annual Essence Festival in New Orleans. Along the way, they rediscover their friendship while getting into all kinds of romantic and wild misadventures. Also: no male strippers get killed.
Here’s the red band trailer for Girls Trip:
So what’s in this film for you?
An all-black main cast: We don’t have to worry about diversity counts in this cast. Us black people are covered. And, if you’re an ally looking to support a black cast, you can’t find a better one. Not only do you have OGs like Queen Latifah, Pinkett Smith, Hall, and Tate in the cast, but you also have relatively new faces like Haddish (who has been around for a while, but is still in the up-and-coming set) and Siriboe, who has made waves on the OWN hit show, Queen Sugar. Also, as the trailer shows, Morris Chestnut is also in the mix. There’s plenty for everyone!
No word on LGBT representation: We’ll have to see when the movie comes out.
The film is co-written by Kenya Barris: We love his writing on black-ish, and his funny writing is all over this film. Which means:
The trailer is laugh-out-loud funny: If just the trailer can make me laugh, then I’m sold. I didn’t laugh once in Rough Night’s trailer, and that’s not just because I was already side-eyeing the film. If there were some actually funny moments, I would have laughed; if something’s funny, I can’t not laugh. But I didn’t So, here we are.
It actually feels like a good time: This feels like a movie you want to go with your good girlfriends to see and make a night of it. This is definitely one of those films you go watch, go to dinner afterwards, then possibly go back to one of your friends’ house and drink wine and gossip (I write as if I drink wine…I’m just going off of what the Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder commercials tell me). In any event, it looks like great fun for the adult set, whether you take your friends, your significant other, or your adult siblings.
What do you think about Rough Night? Give your opinions below!