A Night at the Roxbury Review

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A pair of dim-witted brothers plan to open LA's trendiest nightclub.


If dorky comedy can, as both Wayne's World and Bill And Ted emphatically proved, be achingly funny without being utterly brain dead, it begs the question as to why director Fortenberry feels the need to dumb down his film's humour to within a hairsbreadth of the puerile. American audiences will no doubt be familiar with the Roxbury Guys, the two sartorially-challenged, personality bypassed, wannabe hipsters created by Ferrell and Kattan for their regular gig on Saturday Night Live. And that, ironically, is exactly what this is: an over-extended, over-indulgent skit in which the duo bounce lines off each other with well rehearsed regularity. That a handful of the gags ("You're mad cow-ing on me!") actually hit the mark is more down to the law of averages than inspired writing.

By day, Doug and Steve Butabi are unwilling employees in their father's fake flower emporium: by night they strut their St.Vitus-like stuff on the dance floor with such terminal uncool you'd think they were wearing babe repellent. Tired of being turned away from all the trendiest nightspots they dream of opening their own place and find an unlikely ally in Chazz Palminteri's meteorically successful club owner - though Steve's proposed nuptials threaten to put paid to the brothers' nocturnal gallivanting.

A glimpse of Amy Heckering's (Clueless) name amid the opening production credits fills one with the false hope of being treated to another affectionate satire on Beverly Hills' modes and manners, yet the odd piquant aside on cosmetic surgery ("Come downstairs; the Sandersons are here to see your mother's new chin") and physical culture not withstanding, we have to survive on a diet of low calorie slapstick and quick-fix buffoonery.

Even at just 82 minutes A Night at the Roxbury seems like an hour-and-a-half too long.