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Film Review: ‘Best Night Ever’

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

With:

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

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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