Despite the recent hype of the growing power of women in the film industry, not all movies written and directed by women are worthy of our attention, and this Scarlett Johansson starrer is a sorry instance. Perhaps the A-list actress wanted a break from her recent more serious roles, but this film is hardly light relief -- and unfortunately she is no comedienne. Worse yet, nearly all of the female ensemble 'comedies' post-"Bridesmaids" (and I would include the recent distaff "Ghostbusters") have been singularly unfunny. No doubt this flick was inspired by the run of stag-night films where everything that can go wrong does go horribly wrong, ranging back to "Very Bad Things" in 1998 through the increasingly less successful "Hangover" movies. If men about to marry can behave badly, why not women?
Johansson's bride-to-be hen party reunites her college buddies 10 years on for a would-be riotous weekend in Miami, which means drugs, booze, and outlandish behaviour. The fact that she and her mates are getting too old for such jejune shenanigans is neither here nor there. Her posse includes raucous fat bestie Alice (Jillian Bell, a Saturday Night Live writer), latent lesbo activist Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon (who is not Australian) playing a scatty Australian (with a cod accent), and Zoe Kravitz as a young mother facing a custody battle. Perhaps Johansson briefly considered the possibility that she would shine better if surrounded by a bunch of 'dogs', but in fact Kravitz is the best-looking of the bunch (with the best legs as well). And even the usually tasty Scarlett has seen better days.
Add to this unsavoury mix the sex-mad next-door neighbours Ty Burrell and Demi Moore, who was once I recall an A-list actress herself, and the stage is set for a singularly stupid scenario where the 'girls' think they have murdered a stripper (who wasn't it turns out the stripper they hired) when fat Alice throws herself onto his lap causing his chair to tip over. We are then offered some sub-"Weekend at Bernie's" nonsense as they try to dispose of the body. Then the real stripper turns up! Meanwhile Scarlett's not-so-glamourous fiancé is having a restrained stag-night back North with his dweeby friends enjoying a wine-tasting. When he thinks that the wedding might be off, he is encouraged by them to drive non-stop to Florida wearing nappies to avoid pit-stops (don't ask) to win her back. You think one or all of them might have joined him on this stupid journey to share the driving -- but that might have made the flick less idiotic than it is.
You might well ask why on earth we went to see this terrible film. Well Michael is something of a Johansson fan, but this movie could well kill his attraction temporarily. For some reason the picture ends with McKinnon serenading us over the end-credits (like the end-credits of the equally disappointing -- for different reasons -- recent series of "Twin Peaks") and she is no singer. The film runs an overlong 101 minutes but it might have been too long as a 10-minute sketch. Avoid!