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Sunday, 13 January 2019

Retro Review: A Night At The Roxbury (1998)

A Night At The Roxbury
Cast: Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Molly Shannon, Mark McKinney, Colin Quinn
Genre: Comedy
U.S Box Office Gross: over $30 million

Plot: Two dim-witted brothers dream of owning their own dance club or at least getting into the coolest & most exclusive club in town, The Roxbury 

'Going Out? Just Stay At Home Instead'

I hate to admit it, but much like with Good Burger and many other Saturday Night Live-based movies, but for the exception of Wayne's World, A Night At The Roxbury struggles and fumbles its way, no thanks to underdeveloped characters, with little in the way of overly decent jokes and slapstick and humour that is far from hearty and hilarious, as well as making a movie based on a sketch piece and stretching it out and not incorporating more charm, and neither is it executed well. The premise, the idea is an entertaining one, based on a TV sketch piece, but for one dance scene with Amber's ''This Is Your Night'' playing in the background, most of the jokes, gags, repetitive mentions of Emilio Estevez and slapstick, didn't strike me as amusing and amusingly consistent and there wasn't truly one turning point in the film where it felt like it was going somewhere. It just wasn't.

Steve (pre-Hollywood movie star & then current SNL member, Will Ferrell) and Doug (Chris Kattan) are two club-lovin' & head-boppin' brothers who succeed in amusing one another, rather than scoring with the ladies on the dance floor. After several failed attempts at gaining access at the Roxbury, forgotten movie actor, Richard Grieco as himself, helps them out, with success.

Steve Koren who penned the entertaining Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston 2001 effort, Bruce Almighty, sadly also gave us comic duds in Jack & Jill and A Thousand Words with Eddie Murphy. Along with Lorne Michaels who did it exceedingly better in Wayne's World and Clueless creator, Amy Heckling, this comedy movie borders on being humourless.

Whereas the foolproof Mike Myers & Dana Carvey- led Wayne's World succeeded through funny, witty writing and slapstick and jokes and thus it avoided being a TV to film -based flick, A Night At The Roxbury prattles on and on far beyond breaking point, without engaging and really stamping its duty that its botched execution renders it as a tedious and unmemorable caper. Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan share chemistry onscreen, but the jokes that they delivered failed to tickle my funny bone, incessantly. I think the fact that it was originally an SNL piece wherein their characters never spoke or uttered a single word of dialogue for 5 mins, here Chris and Will's characters are given lines to work with. It's unfortunate though that most of it just wasn't funny enough.

This was a truly utter disappointment; I so wanted to enjoy this one and the inclusion of euro dance songs such as Haddaway's What Is Love? was something I liked (which gets played a great deal throughout the film, which will make some people hate the song), although I do wish that the huge euro dance hit, The Real Mccoy's Another Night of 1994 was featured too.

The soundtrack is cool and being a fan of 1990s euro dance music is definitely worth checking out for lovers of this genre - yet sadly, however, this film isn't.

Final Verdict:

This night at the Roxbury was, by all means, forgettable and there was almost nothing that was close to being a laugh riot. This is strictly for die-hard Will Ferrell fans and fans of SNL's Roxbury guys, who unlike the rest of us, will manage to get much amusement out of this surprisingly flawed buddy comedy.


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