[Screen It]


(1998) (Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild None Mild None None
Moderate None None Minor Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
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Heavy Minor Minor Minor Mild

Comedy: Two brothers, who don't realize they're losers, try to get into the exclusive Roxbury club while dreaming of opening a club of their own.
Steve (WILL FERRELL) and Doug Butabi (CHRIS KATTAN) are bar hopping brothers who don't realize that their failed attempts at being hip, cool, and stylish immediately label them as losers. Living at home with their dad (DAN HEDAYA) and mom (LONI ANDERSON), these young adults dream of one day getting into the hottest club in the city, the Roxbury.

Working at their dad's synthetic plant store by day -- where Steve must put up with the constant attention of an adjacent store owner's daughter, Emily (MOLLY SHANNON) -- the guys get their break when actor Richard Grieco (playing himself), smashes into their vehicle. Not wanting any sort of report, Grieco gets them into the club where they meet the owner, Mr. Zadir, and his assistant, Dooey (COLIN QUINN).

As they tell him of their plans detailing their own "dream" club, two opportunistic women, Cambi (ELISA DONOVAN) and Vivica (GIGI RICE) mistake them for wealthy entrepreneurs and immediately set their gold-digger sights on them.

If they're fans of the "Saturday Night Live" skit and the characters in it, they probably will.
For sex related humor, language and some drug content.
  • WILL FERRELL and CHRIS KATTAN play two brothers who think they're hip and stylish, but are anything but that. They hit on women and wildly and suggestively dance with them.
  • GIGI RICE and ELISA DONOVAN play two women who pursue and sleep with the brothers because they think they're rich.


    OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
    Proving once again that it's difficult to transform a three or four-minute skit into a feature length film, "A Night at the Roxbury" is sporadically funny at best, but mightily strains to fill its brief eighty minute runtime.

    Based on a currently running, and somewhat humorous skit on TV's "Saturday Night Live," this film follows in a long line of skits that have landed with varying results as feature movies. For every "Blues Brothers" and "Wayne's World," there's "It's Pat" and "Stuart Saves His Family," so it should come as no surprise that the filmmakers and Paramount Studios are willing to hedge their bets on the film's apparent 50/50 chances.

    The problem is, however, when compared to the skits that were successful, there's practically nothing here with which to work from the original. While the pumping, toe-tapping rhythms of the main song, "What Is Love?" can inspire nearly anyone to bob their head in unison to the beat, the original skit is pretty threadbare beyond that.

    The only real fun of the recurring TV sketch is watching the guest stars (such as Jim Carrey, Alec Baldwin and others) join the two losers in their pathetically funny behavior, as they pump their heads in unison, confusedly point to themselves and each other trying to figure which of them another person's referring to, and then bouncing that person back and forth between them.

    Unfortunately, there's not much more to the movie, and the supplementary plot and dialogue that exist are substandard even for a film like this. Feeling more like the ugly step cousin to "Wayne's World" and its goofy characters that also originated on "SNL," this film was bad enough to inspire/force many people in our audience to get up and leave the theater long before the conclusion -- something I haven't seen in quite a while.

    The film's problems are multifaceted. As directed by John Fortenberry (Pauly Shore's "Jury Duty") from a script by Ferrell, Kattan, and Steve Koren, there's practically no plot -- something that's okay for a skit, but not a feature film -- and what's there is only meagerly funny at best. The best moments have the guys doing their normal schtick, but even that quickly wears thin as it offers nothing new from the original skit material.

    Beyond that, we're supposed to find scenes where the brothers fight, attempt to bribe a doorman with pocket change, or primp as they prepare to go out for the evening as funny (the sight of them in their ultra tight fitting, shiny polyester shirts might elicit a lone giggle), but such scenes mostly fall flat. The same holds true for the brief "spoof" moments where scenes from "Say Anything," "Saturday Night Fever" and "Jerry Maguire" are easily recognized, but not executed in a way to make them as funny as they should have been.

    Equally problematic are the characters themselves. Somewhat similarly constructed, but not as developed as the Wayne and Garth characters from the "Wayne's World" movies (something you'd never have thought possible until you see this film), their one-note creations consequently have a limited comedic arsenal with which to work.

    Will Farrell and Chris Kattan are gifted comedians, but lack that extra spark needed to make their characters jump from the screen. For instance, while both sets of characters (from this film and "Wayne's World") are nervous or partially oblivious to/blinded by the forward advances of the opposite sex, the Butabi brothers are considerably less amusing and/or charming than those guys from Aurora. Supporting cast members, such as Molly Shannon and Dan Hedaya, equally can't do much with their one-dimensionally created characters.

    Although the film, like the skit, manages to exude a certain goofy charm, that alone can't carry this picture, and we expect that this release will most likely make a quick beeline for the video stores. After all, when one of the brothers comments near the end that he loves the "What is Love" song and the other mentions that he's getting kind of sick of it, you know that's bad since the song's about the best thing the movie has to offer. We give "A Night At The Roxbury" a 2 out of 10.

    Here's a quick look at the film's content. Profanity is heavy due to one use of the "f" word along with some slang terms for male and female genitals. While no direct nudity is seen, some skimpy bathing suits show parts of both male and female butts and some cleavage. One sexual encounter does show movement and sounds (played for comic effect), but it may be a bit explicit for the PG- 13 rating. Beyond that, sexually related comments are also made.

    With the main characters' behavior and physical movements comes the possibility of kids wanting to imitate it, but beyond some drinking and mild comic violence, the remaining categories have little or no major objectionable material. Nonetheless, you may want to take a closer look at the content should you or someone in your home wish to see this film.

  • The brothers have beer in a club as do others (beer and cocktails).
  • The guys rapidly (and exaggeratedly) wipe their noses (perhaps as if they'd just snorted drugs, but we don't see them doing that).
  • A woman in a poster holds a beer, and in one scene a beer truck is prominently seen.
  • People have drinks inside the Roxbury club, and the brothers and the owner of the club have wine.
  • The owner of the Roxbury and his assistant have wine.
  • People have drinks at a party.
  • Vivica and Cambi have wine.
  • People drink in the club again.
  • We see that Doug has been drinking shots, and his personal trainer has beer.
  • Emily and Steve's family drink with a toast to their upcoming marriage.
  • People have drinks at a new club.
  • None.
  • Some may see the brothers and their continuous hitting on women as having some of both (but it's done for laughs).
  • Vivica and Cambi go out with, and sleep with, the brothers only because they think they're entrepreneurs.
  • The brothers have poor attitudes toward work and eventually quit working for their father.
  • Dooey has the brothers thrown out of Zadir's building despite his boss wanting to see them again.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "Flying f*ck," "P*ssy whipped," "Shoot the sh*t," "Pissed," "Idiot," "Flying rat's ass," "Dancing monkey brother," "Idiot boy," "Shut up," "Chicklet," "Sweet ass," "Screw it up," "Screwed" (nonsexual), "Ass wad," "Bastard," "Hotties," "Jerk off" (noun), "Ugly pathetic losers" and "Horny."
  • Some kids may want to imitate the brothers and their beat-induced head bouncing and wild dancing styles (rapidly thrusting their pelvises against women, etc...). Likewise, the brothers rapid nose wiping gestures may also be imitated, as might their goofy dance moves while driving a car.
  • Steve sticks a Twizzler (or similar candy strip) into Doug's nose to wake him up, and then eats it despite Doug reminding him where it had just been.
  • The brothers use a "template" to spray paint sideburns onto their faces.
  • The brothers pull huge stands of tape from their backs to remove any back hair.
  • The brothers try to bribe a bouncer/door man to get into a club.
  • Steve gives Vivica the pickup line, "Is that a mirror in your pocket? Because I can see myself in your pants." She then replies, "If I said you had a nice body, would you hold it against me?"
  • Doug shoots some canned whipped cream into his mouth.
  • None.
  • None.
  • An old song by K.C. and the Sunshine Band has the lyrics "Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight."
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words, 2 slang terms for male genitals ("d*ck"), 1 slang term for female genitals ("p*ssy"), 19 asses (1 seen in subtitles), 2 hells, 1 S.O.B., and 5 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "Swear To God" "God" and "Oh God," and 1 use of "My God" as exclamations.
  • Several women display varying amounts of cleavage throughout the film in the outfits they wear, including Vivica who shows a lot in one scene.
  • The brothers often dance with women where they start to rapidly "hump" and bump into their partners.
  • The brothers' mother tells one of them, "If you're going to hit your peak, make sure you do it in your room" (innuendo taken out of context).
  • Talking on the phone to a credit card operator and swiping a credit card through a verification machine, Doug suggestively asks the woman, "Do you like that? Does it feel good? Cuz I could swipe it all night..."
  • We see close-up shots of women walking on the beach in somewhat skimpy bathing suits (showing parts of butts and cleavage). We then see the brothers in small Speedo-like bathing suits that show at least half of their butts.
  • The owner of the Roxbury continually (and jokingly) asks people, "Did you grab my ass?"
  • Cambi and Vivica adjust their breasts (in their short and tightfitting outfits) before approaching the brothers.
  • The brothers and Cambi and Vivica walk off with their hands on each other's (clothed) butts.
  • Thinking Dooey can't hear him through the glass limo partition, the brothers mockingly make fun of him and Doug says, "Tell your mom I had a nice time last night." Steve chimes in "And your dad....I mean your sister."
  • We see glimpses of the side of a woman's bare breast as she comes out of a swimming pool topless (and the guys stare at her chest that we don't see).
  • Steve gives Vivica the pickup line, "Is that a mirror in your pocket? Because I can see myself in your pants." She then replies, "If I said you had a nice body, would you hold it against me?"
  • Alone in a bedroom, Vivica comes on to Steve and asks him if this is his "first time." He replies that it is and asks if it's hers. Cambi then asks Doug the same thing. A subtitle on the screen then reads "42 seconds later" as the brothers rush out into the hallway to congratulate each other on having sex. Later, the guys comment to the women "do you want to do what we did last night?" When the women realize the guys are losers, they comment, "I can't believe we had sex with these ass wads."
  • Lacing a comment on a magic act with innuendo, Emily tells Steve that it's as much fun to watch things appear as disappear.
  • In a movie theater Steve puts his arm around Emily's shoulder. She then takes his hand and plants it firmly on her clothed breast and has him hold it there.
  • We see Steve and Emily having sex in a hot tub from a long distance as she moves against him and makes sexual sounds.
  • Emily shows some cleavage in bed and Steve then grabs her breast while she reads a book. She then tells him, "Don't upset me, Steve, unless you want to make me less horny." We then see her on top of him having sex, and while we don't see any direct contact or nudity, movement is heavily implied and we hear more sexual sounds and heavy breathing (that go on for quite a while and are done for comic effect). Moments later, she then goes under the covers toward his crotch and oral sex is implied as we see the pleasured and surprised look on his face.
  • Emily suggestively (and seductively) licks a strawberry for Steve to see.
  • Steve's wedding speech to Emily goes, "I used to see you outside my father's store. We went on a couple of dates. And you let me have sex with you."
  • The bridesmaid shows a lot of cleavage.
  • People in bar scenes smoke.
  • A few comically tense moments occur between the brothers, and between them and their father.
  • Having the proper work ethic.
  • Pursuing one's dreams.
  • A woman smashes her drink into one of the brothers' chest.
  • Some bouncers forcibly remove the guys from a club.
  • Doug accidentally breaks the glass in the passenger side door from his repeated head bobbing.
  • Steve accidentally slaps Doug while exchanging "high fives."
  • A woman slugs Doug and knees Steve in the crotch after they stop her on the sidewalk.
  • Doug violently throws plants into and against his father's store van.
  • Emily pushes Doug backwards and his father then spins him around.
  • Richard Grieco accidentally crashes his car into the back of the plant shop van.
  • The brothers accidentally knock down their partners and others while wildly dancing on the dance floor.
  • Some security guards forcibly remove the brothers from Zadir's offices.

  • Reviewed August 27, 1998

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