“Best Night Ever:” A pH-Balanced “Hangover” That Looks Like It Still Stinks

In HBO’s battle of the sexes, neither gender could claim superiority when Entourage picked up where Sex and the City left off in 2004. The diametric opposition of these series created a subjective détente allowing men to live vicariously through Vincent Chase’s high school fantasy life after women spent 6 seasons reveling in whatever adventures Carrie Bradshaw and the gang found.

best_night_everAnd it appears that this tit-for-tat has come to the big screen in mash-up fashion with Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer’s new comedy Best Night Ever (opening January 31). Known for their reign over the countless ______ Movie spoofs of the past generation, Friedberg and Seltzer apparently seemed ideal to write and direct the ladies’ answer to the Hangover series.

Best Night Ever follows four women as they hit Las Vegas for a bachelorette party. Naturally, hi-jinks ensue that range from innocent fun to uproariously grotesque. Despite having little familiarity with the female leads like many people had with Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms when The Hangover opened, it is always intriguing to see women debunk the unfortunate women-aren’t-funny stigma. Unfortunately, the reputation that has grown among smarter audiences from Friedberg and Seltzer’s oeuvre may preclude this film from demonstrating that lady-powered comedies are widely marketable. Sure, the nauseating title may appeal to the Jell-o shot set, but the optimist in me wonders whether even they would be concerned that men wrote the movie instead of women.

Although no gender, race, or sexual orientation has a monopoly on the stories told from the perspective of their respective groups, the rarity with which women have the opportunity to showcase their comedic talent almost demands that they be allowed to tell their own stories. And Best Night Ever is certainly not an example of that level of involvement.

But I am curious about what women think of this film. Were ladies hankering for their answer to The Hangover? How do they feel about the guys behind every obnoxious parody of the past decade-plus taking the helm for such an attempt? The trailer below reveals elements of proven comedy hits like Stripes and Borat, but will those derivatives be enough to entertain an audience that may have been looking for a more authentic female narrative?

The argument could be made that funny is funny no matter the gender delivering it. So I guess we’ll see…well…I mean…I won’t see…but someone will. You’d have to pay me to watch this s___.

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