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1 item from 1998

Film review: 'A Night at the Roxbury'

2 October 1998 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Tits and ass and jokes about Loni Anderson's chin are the main attractions in Paramount's "A Night at the Roxbury", which stars Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan as obnoxious club-hopping losers. Based on the pair's "Saturday Night Live" skits, "Roxbury" is briefly amusing -- such as when a woman screams "Ikea" as she's having an orgasm -- but it's mostly gawky, scattershot gags starting with the god-awful clothes and idiotic personalities of the monumentally immature leads.

Another dumb-guys-get-babes comedy might have had a chance, but the ho-hum disco setting, unknown stars and a PG-13 rating are hardly the enticements for more discriminating adults. While the target audience of teenage boys is well-served with many teasing shots of pulchritudinous females -- with special attention paid to their barely covered-up assets -- "Roxbury" is a joyless affair which at least is over fast, clocking in (minus end credits) at less than 80 minutes.

Dim-bulb brothers Steve (Ferrell) and Doug Butabi (Kattan) sport sideburns and iridescent suits. They share a room and seem joined at the hip. In their father's car, they both nod their heads in time with music -- the duo's signature ha-ha gag that is old after the first of many times it's repeated. But get them near a floozy or just plain attractive woman, and they become insufferable, horny jerks used to being violently repulsed.

Their sense of humor is painfully retarded, and it's no surprise they're both virgins. Their inability to get into clubs is likewise obvious. It takes a traffic accident on Sunset Boulevard to start turning things around, with the bozos rear-ended by Richard Grieco playing himself. It just gets unfunnier.

A regular at the hottest club in town, Grieco helps the brothers get in -- and they're snapped up by money-hungry babes Vivica (Gigi Rice) and Cambi (Elisa Donovan). Thinking they have well-heeled swells in tow, the girls take the bubble-headed bros to bed. But this lustful quartet soon breaks up, with Steve falling into the grips of family friend Emily (Molly Shannon), another nakedly ambitious, in-love-with-sex femme.

Dan Hedaya and Anderson as the brothers' parental units are pillars of respectability in this geek show. Lochlyn Munro, Meredith Scott Lynn and Mark McKinney are likewise attention-getters in small but crucial roles. As for Ferrell and Kattan, they are allowed to self-destruct in several scenes that go on too long, but their one-note shtick is ably rendered on screen for the ages by director John Fortenberry.


Paramount Pictures

In association with SNL Studios

A Lorne Michaels and Amy Heckerling production

Director: John Fortenberry

Screenwriters: Steve Koren, Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan

Producers: Lorne Michaels, Amy Heckerling

Executive producer: Robert K. Weiss

Director of photography: Francis Kenny

Production designer: Steven Jordan

Editor: Jay Kamen

Costume designer: Mona May

Music: David Kitay

Casting: Jeff Greenberg



Steve Butabi: Will Ferrell

Doug Butabi: Chris Kattan

Emily: Molly Shannon

Craig: Lochlyn Munro

Kamehl Butabi: Dan Hedaya

Barbara Butabi: Loni Anderson

Credit Vixen: Meredith Scott Lynn

Vivica: Gigi Rice

Cambi: Elisa Donovan

Father Williams: Mark McKinney

Richard Grieco: Himself

Running time -- 81 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13


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