Best Night Ever: Film Review
Friday, Jan. 31 (Magnet Releasing)
Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Desiree Hall, Samantha Colburn, Eddie Ritchard, Crista Flanagan
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer's raunchy comedy concerns a Vegas bachelorette party gone awry.
Considering that its writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are previously responsible for such films as The Starving Games, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans and Vampires Suck, you might easily think that their latest effort, Best Night Ever, is yet another parody, this time lampooning the raunchy, similarly themed Hangover series, Bridesmaids and Bachelorette. Instead, this witless found-footage comedy -- Jason Blum of the Paranormal Activity franchise is among its producers -- doesn't so much satirize its chosen genre as shamelessly rip it off.
The film concerns the Vegas bachelorette party undertaken by bride-to-be Claire (Desiree Hall), her older sister Leslie (Samantha Colburn) and friends Janet (Christa Flanagan) and Zoe (Eddie Ritchard). At first things would seem to be proceeding nicely, as the well-to-do Leslie has booked them a luxury penthouse and front row seats for a Celine Dion concert.
But a credit card mishap leads to the inevitable series of disastrous complications, as the daffy female quartet becomes embroiled in situations both embarrassing (a trip to a male strip club results in one of them nearly getting hit in the face by an errant male appendage) and dangerous (a robbery that goes awry). In the course of their drunken debauchery, the women also find themselves engaging in such activities as Jell-O wrestling, karaoke singing a 4 Non Blondes song, accidentally excreting on a hapless male victim's face (don't ask) and being attacked by a naked black woman.
Its already brief running time stretched out interminably via such segments as a montage of the women visiting various Vegas tourist attractions, Best Night Ever doesn't exactly live up to its title. The endless profusion of gross-out gags results in nary a single laugh, although the four female leads display a game spirit with their willingness to depict their characters' numerous degradations.
The tired found-footage style, which is not always coherently maintained, adds nothing to the proceedings, although it no doubt helped keep the film's budget to a minimum. It's too bad that the savings couldn't be applied to the ticket or VOD charge paid by any hapless viewers unfortunate enough to get suckered in.
Opens: Friday, Jan. 31 (Magnet Releasing)
Production: Safran Company, Blumhouse, 3 in the Box Productions
Cast: Desiree Hall, Samantha Colburn, Eddie Ritchard, Crista Flanagan
Directors/screenwriters: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Producers: Peter Safran, Jason Blum, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Director of photography: Shawn Maurer
Editor: Peck Prior
Production designer: William Elliott
Costume designer: Maressa Richtmyer
Rated R, 82 min.
Sundance: On the Scene