Rough Night looked promising. We've already had movies like Bachelorette and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates to explore the "girls can act like insufferable bros, too!" genre, but with its cast (Kate McKinnon! ScarJo! Ilana Glazer!) and the writers from Broad City, Rough Night seemed like it could transcend the trope. However, the trailer, which centers on a "girl crushes stripper to death" plot point, does not look promising.
It all starts off funnily enough, with the cast gathering for a bachelorette party in Miami, dancing, drinking, and bonding, but takes a turn after they hire a man to give them a lap dance. Jillian Bell's character, overexcited at her chance to grind on a man, takes a running leap at him and winds up killing him.
The accidental death of sex workers is often played for laughs, and more often than not, the victims are women. (See Archer and Family Guy, for starters.) I suppose Rough Night deserves some sort of credit for making the victim a man. Could an all-woman version of Very Bad Things still work? Whichever way you slice it, violence against sex workers is not taken seriously enough; jokes like this probably don't help.
It seems hard to believe that the team behind Broad City could make too much of a misstep, so maybe the full film, which comes out on June 16, will turn it around. But in a new age of women-led comedies, this is one gag we could leave behind.
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