Review: You don't want to spend 'A Night At the Roxbury'
From Reviewer Paul Tatara
(CNN) -- I know a lot of critics started musing about this the minute "A Night at the Roxbury" showed up to further sully our nation's Cineplexes, but the question begs to be asked -- do we really need another uncalled-for "Saturday Night Live" skit movie?
Never mind a movie; do we need another 90-minute "Saturday Night Live" skit?
That's what "A Night at the Roxbury" is, you know. It's a bad skit that nobody cared about in the first place, excruciatingly padded out to feature film length, for no fun and all profit. It's a scam, a sham, a load of crap. When you first saw the poster you imagined it would be, and you were right.
And, of course, it's been making money.
The next thing we need to contemplate, then, is "why is that?" Who in the world is forking over the dough to see this thing? And why? The answer is obvious -- teen-age dupes are seeing it. Lorne Michaels has managed to turn what used to be a truly subversive, groundbreaking late-night comedy program into a sporadically amusing marketing tool for the Really Big Bucks.
At least Blues Brothers made sense
At least you could argue that the Blues Brothers were popular before the idea of making their overblown movie ever crept its way into Rockefeller Center. They had a hit record, if you remember, and John Belushi was already a big deal due to his star-making turn in "Animal House."
But "It's Pat," for God's sake?! "The Coneheads" almost 20 years after the fact? And now this? By now, these movies are about as subversive (and unnecessary) as a Pocket Fisherman. Michaels should be embarrassed. Do you think Steve Martin and Paul Simon avoid the subject when they drop over to Lorne's place for martinis?
"A Night at the Roxbury" is basically a longer version of its poster. Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan (who also helped with the, um, screenplay) play the Butabi brothers, L.A. party guys who go to the right clubs, bob their heads to the beat of the electronic music, and toss off preconceived pickup lines regardless of whether the situation calls for them or not. They think this will enable them to pick up all the hottest women. They can't, of course, although Ferrell and Kattan do manage to pick up a paycheck.
The Butabis wear cheap, outdated '80s-style suits and fancy themselves to be a couple of hotties themselves. They aren't, of course, but Ferrell and Kattan manage to pick up a paycheck. Oh, I already said that.
Their dad (Dan Hedaya) wants them to give up their party life and work at his plastic flower shop, which I guess is a hilariously mundane job. Their mother (Loni Anderson, looking like a robot version of herself) is an amiable airhead, and the boys just love her to death. Mom and Dad make appearances in between misguided club-hops, mostly because that uses up screen time.
The scenes you expect
One night the boys get into a car accident involving Richard Grieco (as himself!), who then smoothes things over by getting them into The Roxbury, a ultra-hip club that normally won't admit them.
While they're there, they meet up with the club owner and a couple of girls who are looking to hook up with them because they think they're millionaires. There's a sex scene and a dancing scene and all the other scenes you're expecting. It's absolutely brutal to sit through.
Ferrell is often hilarious on "SNL," and gets off a few neatly delivered lines here. Molly Shannon also generates a couple of chuckles as a sex-crazed woman who's after Ferrell. That's 100 percent it, though.
I've already heard that they're preparing a movie based around Shannon's confused Catholic schoolgirl character, whatever her name is. You know, the one who's so screwed up she's developed the quirk of continually sticking her hands under her arms, then sniffing them.
Ninety minutes of that, folks. Ninety minutes. I bet they can get Loni Anderson again, if they try.
"A Night at the Roxbury" contains bad language and nudity. Frankly, it's pretty damn sexist. I haven't seen this much emphasis put on huge, forcefully displayed breasts since the last John Landis movie ... not counting "Blues Brothers 2000," which wasn't really a movie. But we've covered that. Rated R. 90 minutes.
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