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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday July 10, 2014 - Edition No 905 

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NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY

SYNOPSIS:
Two socially awkward brothers, Steve and Doug Butabi, (Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan) work in their father's silk flower shop but dream of breaking free and owning a dance club. They take their concept of an inside-outside club to the owner of the Roxbury, the most successful club in LA hoping he will invest in their idea. The brothers get picked up by two gold-diggers Caabi ( Elisa Donovan) and Vivica (Gigi Rice) and spend a sexually comic night at the mansion of the Roxbury owner, Mr Zadir. The Butabi brothers’ search for success in the club business is matched by their father's desire for Steve to marry Emily (Molly Shannon) the daughter of the shop owner next door and create a lamp and flower empire. The tensions within the family lead the brothers to separate, but when their club idea is stolen by Mr Zadir they realise that their friendship with each other is more important than the riches and rewards of the night club business.

"A Night at the Roxbury comes from the Saturday Night Live stable, and was originally a regular routine on that show. The film version is a smart comedy, aware of itself as much as the subject matter and well suited to a media literate audience who will pick up on the soundtrack and movie references which fill the script. The central characters are well played by Ferrell and Kattan, who present a likeable portrait of embarrassingly unlikeable men with no social skills over-impressed by style. They yearn for the sexy club life yet are totally unsuited to it, and that paradox is the basis of their comedy – a structure that comes from the core of film comedy such as the tramp who wins the lottery but is out of place in the new social strata his wealth brings. A Night at the Roxbury is clever entertainment which perceptively satirises the petty ambitions of a culture immersed in image without substance, of being seen with the A-list rather than genuine friends. Whilst that might be the extent of its moral dimensions, the comedy makes the message easy to digest."
Hunter Cordaiy

"Destined to be one of the year's worst films, it's certainly the most pointless one. You see, there's this facile show on American television called Saturday Night Live which has infested popular American culture with many a creation. From little skits, big movies have been borne, and with few exceptions, most have been dismal failures, and few have been bothered to even gain a release beyond the Land of the Free. Ineptly directed by John Fortenberry, who has no sense of timing or invention, the film is one overlong joke backed up by a repetitious soundtrack, and comedy that is ridiculously forced and amateurish. Backed up by some truly woeful performances by its principals and a shocking Richard Grieco (no wonder he's rarely seen these days), A Night at the Roxbury is a night you'd be well advised to skip."
Paul Fischer

"Along with launching the big screen careers of stars like John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy and Dan Ayckroyd, U.S. television's long-running Saturday Night Live has attempted, from time to time, to give the full movie treatment to some of its more popular weekly sketches as well. So far, only Wayne's World (and its sequel) has managed to make a reasonable dent at the box office. The less said about Coneheads the better. When Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan's disco wannabes the Mutabi brothers became one of Saturday Night Live's most popular creations, it was inevitable that the two comics would be invited to transfer their nerdy schtick to the big screen. Unfortunately with no real plot to hide behind, A Night At The Roxbury strands Ferrell and Kattan in the naked headlights of a medium with entirely different demands. As past experience has often shown, what works as a ten minute comedy skit on television seldom passes scrutiny as a 90 minute movie. And while it's not impossible to prop up a slim premise with a virtuoso performance, as Robin Williams did in Mrs Doubtfire, Ferrell and Kattan, judged solely on their work here, still have a long comic apprenticeship to go. The disco dance number is good, though."
Leo Cameron

"If you fart-ass around all your life, it seems, you will be led to greater things. At least, that's what happens in A Night at the Roxbury, a comedy of errors that is a big one to begin with. There is barely enough material here to maintain a five minute skit, let alone a ninety minute feature that bumbles, stumbles and fumbles through its running time. If you're akin to this type of silly, silly humor, the film might be goofy enough to warrant a sitting - but otherwise, I'd advise everybody to stay well clear of this pitiable piece. I actually enjoyed the first few minutes of this film, before the ridiculously unintelligent characters became irritating, and before the script became boring and problematic. The acting by Saturday Night Live regulars Will Ferrel and Chris Kattan is predictably awful; the only time they appeal is amongst the bright and blurring lights of discos. To give you an example of the type of humor A Night at Roxbury generates, I'll leave with a short conversation between the two main characters: Doug: You can take our car, and you can take our keys, but you cannot take away our dreams! Steve: Yeah, because we're sleeping when we have them! Is that what you call funny? I thought not."
Luke Buckmaster, Teen Critic



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 3
Mixed: 0

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TRAILER

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY (M)
(US)

CAST: Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Dan Hedaya, Molly Shannon, Richard Grieco, Loni Anderson, Elisa Donovan, Gigi Rice, Meredith Scott Lynn, Chazz Palminteri

DIRECTOR: John Fortenberry

PRODUCER: Lorne Michaels, Amy Heckerling

SCRIPT: Steve Koren and Will Ferrell & Chris Kattan

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Francis Kenny

EDITOR: Jay Kamen

MUSIC: David Kitay

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Steven J. Jordan

RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: May 13, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: December 10, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: CIC







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