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A Night at the Roxbury


A trendy Manhattan nightclub. Haddaway’s cheez-dance smash hit “What Is Love?” is loudly playing. Two Gucci suit-wearing, sideburned, hair-gelled, nose-strutting, head-shaking brothers are leaning over the bar. They turn and scan the crowd, looking for babes. “Wanna dance? Me? Him? Me? Him?” They approach the lady, jump frantically around her, sandwich her on the dance floor and dry-hump her until she leaves, pissed. “Score!” Okay, that’s the premise of one of the most popular recurring skits on Saturday Night Live, and I tell you, it can be hilarious. But can you really stretch this into a 90 minute movie?

Apparently you can, by giving lives to those two guys and by making them talk a bit. Will Ferrell is the tall, harmless, naive one, while Chris Kattan is the smaller, more excited brother who doesn’t have more of a clue. The thing with these guys is that all they know about is cheap pick-up lines and dorky dance moves. SNL showed that they suck in the nightlife, imagine how they handle real-life situations ! It’s pretty hard to work and to be around people when for you, dialogue revolves around “What’s up?”. I dig that the film always keeps these idiots on their one-track mind, even though it gets a little redundant. They’re still side-splitting funny more often than not.

What make the film sinks, though, is the formulaic, uninteresting plot that links the scenes and the so-so supporting characters. There’s Dan Hedaya and bimbo Loni Anderson as the bros’ parents, Colin Quinn as a bodyguard, Mark McKinney in an unmemorable cameo and Molly Shannon as a manipulative, slutty girl-next-door (she’s pretty much the only one who’s chuckalicious). The film’s also undaring, especially after insane flicks like “There’s Something About Mary” (the year’s best comedy). Still, Kattan and Ferrell give finger-snappin’ performances and the finale (a spoof of both “Say Anything” and “Jerry Maguire”) is worth the admission price by itself.

“Emiiiilioooooooo!”