A Night At The Roxbury
Rating -

Comedy (US); 1998; Rated PG-13; 81 Minutes

Will Ferrel: Steve Butabi
Chris KaHan: Doug Butabi
Molly Shannon: Emily
Dan Hedaya: Mr. Butabi
Elisa Donovan: Cambi
Gigi Rice: Viveca

Produced by Marie Cantin, Erin Fraser, Amy Heckerling, Steve Koren, Lorne Michaels and Robert K. Weiss; Directed by John Fortenberry and Peter Markle; Screenwritten by Steve Koren, Will Ferrel, Chris Kattan, Amy Heckerling, Jim Carrey and Christopher McQuarrie

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Written by DAVID KEYES

There are few who deny that 1998s comedies are probably, by far, the worst ever made. There are probably fewer who would deny the fact that almost all the year’s bad movies are comedies.

Generally speaking, this poor genre has delivered practically nothing but cheap shots at humor all year. With the exception of a little movie called There’s Something About Mary, can you honestly name one of these movies that came out this year which you would actually consider funny or amusing? I seriously doubt it.

And the winner for the most pathetic comedy of the year is A Night At The Roxbury. This putrid, self-absorbed garbage is so detestable that it’s the type of movie where you’d rather sneak in to see it instead of paying a matinee ticket price. Those who do pay have obviously been tricked out of their money, and those who manage to sit through all 81 minutes of it deserve a medal of bravery.

This may be a movie classified as comedy, but it will likely leave hundreds of people emerging from theaters in paralyzing disbelief. Surely, most wouldn’t think that movies could get this bad. Sorry to say they will be proven wrong. A Night At The Roxbury exceeds all levels of badness and finds refuge in a place of complete ineptness and boredom.

And you obviously know the story. The movie is based on the popular Saturday Night Live skit featuring the infamous Butabi brothers, who are, more or less, the Beavis And Butthead of the club scene. They get kicked out of clubs, bounce their heads to bad music, and spend nearly every second of the film trying to ‘hook up’ with women who have no interest in them. Instead of getting involved with losers like this, the women learn to stay away from them at all costs. After all, they are so stupid and pathetic that they make Beavis And Butthead look like rhode scholars. Perverted, stupid, annoying, foolish, unfunny--you name it, they’re it.

Now having characters like this in movies is not always a good idea, but sometimes, they can be funny. However, when they slip past the procedure of attempting to be funny and turn out to be downright annoying, the result does not come out smelling like daises. These Butabi brothers are just as dumb as their name, and since the movie is, sadly, completely based on them, everything is a downright rip-off.

But there’s more problems than meets the eye. For a second, ponder to yourself the definition of a ‘skit.’ Mine would be along the lines of this: "a comedy routine lasting anywhere from five to ten minutes, containing a small story and small amount of characters to satisfy that amount of time with elements that cause laughter." I have no doubt in my mind that this Saturday Night Live skit was funny on television, but you need decent stories and characters in order to work on the big screen. The makers of A Night At The Roxbury apparently think that a skit-size story very little major characters can support and occupy a two-hour movie very well. They can’t. I seriously doubt these directors and writers knew what they were doing. Unless they got together and said "Let’s take this story and make a movie as bad as we can make it," their actions cannot be explained.

And to this observation, take notice that Jim Carrey’s name in under the writing credits. He may be uncredited in the movie itself, but, according to several sources, he was, indeed, involved in the making.

Perhaps he took his name off the film’s credits to save his career. After all, if you appeared in The Truman Show this summer, would you want your name on the credits list for a movie like A Night At The Roxbury? That would be like putting Pee Wee Herman’s name on the cast list to Hellraiser.

© 1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org. Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
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