Film Review: ‘Best Night Ever’

Best Night Ever

Serial spoofers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer hit a new low with their first 'original' comedy.

Serial spoofers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (“Meet the Spartans,” “Disaster Movie”) hit rock bottom last year while scraping the bottom of the barrel with “The Starving Games.” But that hasn’t stopped the writing-directing duo from digging even deeper. Although “Best Night Ever,” their latest effort, is billed as their first “original” feature, this aggressively frenetic but dismally unfunny farrago plays like a found-footage version of “Bridesmaids” meet “The Hangover.” It seems painfully obvious that, instead of satirizing other, better movies, Friedberg and Seltzer have opted this time to merely imitate them. The end result could be their lowest grosser ever.

Shot semi-guerrilla-style in various Nevada and California locales over a three-week period, “Best Night Ever” details the girls-gone-wild misadventures of four young women during an ill-starred all-night bachelorette party in Las Vegas. Bride-to-be Claire (Desiree Hall) is accompanied by her snobbish sister Leslie (Samantha Colburn), party-hearty buddy Zoe (Eddie Ritchard) and eccentric new friend Janet (Crista Flanagan) on the drive to Sin City, where the women intend to spend quality time in a luxury hotel. Trouble is, Leslie’s credit card isn’t accepted at the front desk, and the only substitute lodging available is the sort of motel room where sheets, pillowcases and even lampshades abound with telltale signs of precious bodily fluids.

One thing leads to another, and the quartet’s downward spiral — fueled in no small measure by their heavy drinking and pill-popping — continues apace. The evening’s highlights include a visit to a male strip club, a mugging, a bout of Jell-O wrestling — in which Janet is an eager but overmatched participant — and a determinedly madcap joyride in a hijacked limousine. Along the way, there’s also a spot of projectile vomiting, a few jokes about chronic lactating, and a scene in which Janet urinates, then defecates, upon an unfortunate fellow who quite possibly doesn’t deserve such treatment.

All of this and more is shot in deliberately slapdash fashion, in a none-too-convincing attempt to indicate everything has been recorded with cellphone or minicams. Occasionally, a face or a product logo is digitally blurred, suggesting that not all innocent bystanders (or image-conscious corporations) on the Vegas strip and elsewhere wanted to be part of the joke.

The four leads are nothing if not game, and actually earn  respect, along with a fair amount of sympathy, for their uninhibited willingness to go to extremes. But there are limits to what they can do to dispel the overall sense of mounting desperation as the gross-out tomfoolery grows ever more tedious.

It should be noted that when the women visit the male strip club, the genitalia of the star entertainer is hidden with a CGI black bar. It should also be noted that this bar is quite large.

Film Review: 'Best Night Ever'

Reviewed on DVD, Houston, Jan. 29, 2014. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 82 MIN.

Production

A Magnet release and presentation of a Safran Co., Blumhouse and 3 in the Box production. Produced by Peter Safran, Jason Blum, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer. Co-producer, Dan Clifton.

Crew

Directed, written by Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer. Camera (color), Shawn Maurer; editor, Peck Prior; music supervisor, Jojo Villanueva; costume designer, Maressa Richtmyer; sound, Zsolt Magyar; assistant director, Michael Etheridge; casting, Lauren Bass, Jordan Bass.

With

Desiree Hall, Samantha Colburn, Eddie Ritchard, Crista Flanagan.

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  1. Mike f says:

    I actually enjoyed thw movie also, it was a little slow in parts, however their are some relative scenes to The Hangover which I also enjoyed.
    Where the film struggles as with most ‘spoof’ style movies is the ongoing storyline, even so id give it a 7/10, one to watch if you cant think.of a blockbuster instead

  2. I can’t help but wonder how this movie would have been received if it was about a bachelor party instead of a bachelorette party. Sure it’s been done (The Hangover,) but 90% of movies are remakes in disguise. Almost everything has been done. It’s quite obvious that the consuming American audience would rather see males in dominating roles. Sure there was Bridesmaids, but I think there was enough degradation and female humiliation in there for audiences to still be comfortable (the lead sleeping with a man who treats her like a stranger outside the sheets..and regretting it.) The reviewer mentions his objection to seeing a man being defiled by one of the women…but I bet he loved the infamous (or should I say famous) scene in There’s Something About Mary when the woman ends up with a man’s bodily fluids in her hair. The audience loved that…but when it’s a man on the receiving end of bodily fluids he didn’t consent to, he’s a “poor fellow” who “didn’t deserve it.” It’s useless trying to talk sense into blatant sexists who are oblivious to their sexism.

  3. dogedoor says:

    I actually enjoyed this movie. Also, I don’t know how much I can trust Variety. Your information is incorrect, this movie was shot before the Starving Games. There was no “guerilla filming”. Every location was legal and permitted. I should know, I was there.

  4. Robbie Goldstein says:

    Relatively nice guys but sad they went down this road. They should have waited and take on AMERICAN Hustle. But their citizen life styles in up scale neighborhoods forbid them to wait. The idea of guerilla filming not a good idea. You place alot of people in jeopardy and exposed to something happening quite unforseen.

    • dogedoor says:

      Just so you know, there was no “guerilla filmmaking” on this production. All locations were permitted and legal, I can give you the number of the location manager to prove it if you don’t believe me.

    • LOL says:

      And you should know considering that you helped them secure citizen life style neighbourhoods to shoot their seminal classic Date Movie. Loved your work in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Mr Goldstein.

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