When a movie is based on a comedy sketch which originally contained no dialogue, it should be no surprise to find that it stretches the original comic premise to breaking point. And then stretches it some more. And then... Well, you get the idea.
Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan invented A Night At The Roxbury's hapless twins for American comedy institution Saturday Night Live. Each week the Butabis would use extravagant dance steps and shiny suits in a doomed attempt to impress the female clientele. Fleshed out for their big-screen version, the clumsy clubbers have become fully fledged idiot brothers: the dumb and dumber of disco.
After years of rejection, Doug (Kattan) - the short-ass who thinks he's clever - and Steve (Ferrell) - the lanky moron who thinks he's good-looking - find themselves suddenly transported into the magical Roxbury after crashing into club regular Richard Grieco. A dream night of business-dealing follows, and a happy ending is surely guaranteed, so long as Doug can weather his father's wrath (Dan Hedaya) and Steve can escape the clutches of psychopathic girl-next-door Emily (Molly Shannon).
Luckily, with a little inspiration from '80s teen-com Say Anything and Jerry Maguire (Cameron Crowe's drama accounting for about half of the best gags here), matters are quickly resolved - and the beat does go on. However, resolution of the incestuous subtext (how far does the Butabi's brotherly love go?) will have to wait for a sequel.
A Night At The Roxbury should have given one-joke comedies a bad name, yet somehow the brothers Butabi are hard to hate. But these likeable losers don't get under the skin like Wayne and Garth. Still, they're fun guys to hang with. Or maybe it's just that, when Haddaway is booming out the risible What Is Love, everything seems funny. No matter how lukewarm.
Saturday Night Live's mixed record at the box office will hardly be boosted by this piece of fluff. If you've popcorn to waste, then you could do worse than spending a night at the Roxbury. Otherwise, wait for the video. It won't take long.
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