Imagine if the creative geniuses behind The Hangover Part III met up with the directors of The Starving Games and then hired real-life human Bratz Dolls to take round-the-clock dumps on camera: welcome to Best Night Ever. Currently mustering a 0.0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Best Night Ever has been labeled the “Worst Movie Ever” by multiple critics and pretty much anyone I could find on the Internet. Written and directed by Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, the please-won’t-you-stoppable comedy duo behind the Scary Movie franchise and Vampires Suck, Best Night Ever is a regressive, cruel, and powerfully unfunny take on the women’s buddy comedy. For whatever reason (rationalism), the movie went straight to video, and is available for streaming at I’m not telling you now go read a book.
At the beginning of Best Night Ever, Claire (Desiree Hall), Leslie (Samantha Colburn), Janet (Crista Flanagan), and Zoe (Eddie Ritchard) are four sexy girlfriendz on their way to Las Vegas to celebrate Claire’s bachelorette. Although Conventional Claire just wants to spend the weekend with her “girls,” Jumpin’ Janet intends to drank all the Rosé while Loser Leslie goes to see Celine Dion and Zany Zoe dreams of sex with black men. All of their plans are interrupted when Leslie’s credit card is declined for their penthouse hotel room (nooo!), and the four are forced to downgrade to a middle-class motel (stooop!) where there’s absolutely no Wi-Fi (is this The Shining?). Janet encourages her ladies to press on, but not before rolling in a bed of semen and setting an inflatable dick crown on fire. Women can be just as disgusting as men, the filmmakers seem to say, and it’s hip hip hooray! for the advancement of mankind.
All this her-larity only continues when the ladies head out for their night on the town. Their first stop is a strip club, where they hire a black male dancer to shove his plus-sized schlong in Claire’s face. When Claire pushes his dick off her cheek, the stripper cries “Rape!” to the amusement of the directors and absolutely no one else. It’s a theme we see all too often – when “comedians” like Seltzer and Friedberg flail, they resort to racism, blaming their lack of laughs on a culture of correctness. I’m all for breaking taboos when the taboo is say, “no Facebook during sex,” but I’m not sure who stands to benefit from movies like Best Night Ever, where angry black hookers chase down scared white women for misunderstandings involving a weave.
Thankfully, the movie softens after the women are kicked out of the club and a series of C+ hijinks ensue. The group attempts to buy cocaine from a parking lot attendant (“Don’t all Valets sell drugs?” Janet ponders) only to have him turn on them all and steal their pocketbooks. As the police approach, we learn that Zoe is in trouble with the law, so all four hide in a dumpster full of expired shrimp cocktails and predatory homeless men. Terrorized, they do what all women in these circumstances do: sing. Sing sing sing sing sing! 4 Non Blondes to be exact, and while it’s not quite funny, it’s certainly better than the oh-my-god-eighty-more-minutes? that follow.
It’s unclear to me why the film continues to go on at this point, but go on yes it does. We cringe when we see Janet jello wrestle a Bigfoot, we cry when we watch Zany Zoe taser an innocent, and we collapse into a pile of absolute agony when a “flash mob” appears. The plot’s particulars are, however, less salient than the film’s major themes. One: Balls are funny. Two: Breast pumps are hilarious! Three: There will be a sequel.
A movie doesn’t need to have as much complexity as a Budweiser commercial to make it worthwhile, but Best Night Ever doesn’t even come close. While it appears superficial, deep underneath the film’s raunchy surface is a real anger towards the audience it’s trying to serve. Groups are targeted, and for a reason. Plots are skewered, and with a point. And while actresses like Crista Flanagan do a good job at reaching beyond the confines of the script, the film is ultimately limited by the restrictions of its vision. Imagine a movie about girlfriends written by the turds who don’t deserve them, and that’s Best Night Ever. It’s here on demand.
Heather Dockray is a comedian and storyteller living in Brooklyn, NY. You can see more of Heather’s work at www.heatherdockray.com, follow her on twitter @Wear_a_helmet, and email her at email@example.com if you aren’t from Moveon.org.