Courtesy Photo
82 minutes | Rated: PG-13
Opened: Friday, October 2, 1998
Directed by Peter Markle (first two weeks) & John Fortenberry

Starring Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Dan Hadaya, Loni Anderson & Molly Shannon

Cameos: Colin Quinn, Chazz Pamentari & Richard Grieco


It's an "SNL" skit dragged out to 82m. Who knows? Being back on TV might even make it sufferable.

Club rejects from 'SNL' skit can't get it on at the movies

Is it just me, or wasn't this bit tiresome after about the sixth time it was done on "Saturday Night Live"?

In "A Night at the Roxbury," Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan attempt to flesh out their perpetually-bounced, Chess King-attired nightclub losers created in skits on "SNL" in which they bop their heads incessantly to "What Is Love" by Haddaway and play dance floor pinball with unwilling hotties and unsuspecting cocktail waitresses.

They do the same thing in the film ad nauseam and spend another hour or so devising tiresome backstory for their one-dimensional characters, the Butabi brothers -- Steve (Ferrell) and Doug (Kattan) -- who daydream of opening their own club while working at their father's artificial flower store.

Throughout the course of the picture they are mistaken for millionaires by a pair of bimbos ("Score!"), get in a pouting match over disagreements about how they should run their non-existent club and try to dodge matchmaking attempts by their parents, (Lori Anderson, looking strangely gaunt, and Dan Hedaya, playing his trademark grumbling grump, ala "Clueless").

The movie's few good jokes come from spoofs of other movies, especially Cameron Crowe movies. In a single scene -- the brother's reconciliation after a near-wedding experience -- Ferrell and Kattan ape both the boom box serenade from "Say Anything..." and the "You complete me" speech from "Jerry Maguire."

Most of the rest of the movie is spent in nightclubs, trying to stretch lean "SNL" material from four minutes to 82 minutes and finding Steve and Doug dumb-lucking into giant plot devices. For instance, an uncredited Chazz Palminteri plays a derriere-obsessed club owner who agrees to finance their idea for an inside-out club (since they spend so much time cooling their heels in line, they think it would be bitchin' to have that ambiance in the club).

Ironically, the weekend this film opened "Saturday Night Live" offered up one of the funniest Butabi bits ever, featuring Cameron Diaz as a slinky babe actually looking for a pair of losers who throws Steve and Doug over for surprise guest stars Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin, reprising their unskilled immigrant Casanovas, the Wild and Crazy Guys (to which the Butabis owe their very inception).

If only the movie's writers (there were half a dozen) and directors (there were two -- one bailed after two weeks) had created a movie one-fourth as funny as this sketch was, this latest in a long line of regrettable "SNL" movies might not have been such a waste of time.

powered by FreeFind
SPLICEDwire home
Online Film Critics Society
All Rights Reserved
Return to top
Current Reviews
SPLICEDwire Home