“Will Ferrell Has Been In At Least 25 Movies Since 1997”: #3 – A Night At The Roxbury (1998)

When Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan did the Roxbury nightclub sketch on SNL, I thought it was great.  These guys are the ultimate club guys. They don’t say much and they just want to dance and maybe hookup with someone.  They are not very good at it and are probably crossing several lines with their aggressive hump dancing, but it was funny.  So they did it a few times, and even added Jim Carrey and other hosts. The Jim Carrey sketch was probably the most elaborate, which had them end up in a home for the aged, with Jim Carrey making out with someone twice his age at the end of the night.  So what I want to know is how the success of a 3 minute SNL sketch, where the characters have almost zero dialogue, makes Lorne Michaels walk into a room and say: “Let’s make this into a feature film!” I know that Tina Fey was on the SNL writing staff at the time and I’m sure she immediately rolled her eyes.  But let’s give Lorne the benefit of the doubt for a moment. This was a really popular sketch. “Maybe this will be another Wayne’s World? It couldn’t possibly be a box office disaster like It’s Pat or Stuart Saves His Family.” Here’s the thing – it actually almost broke even. If I am to believe the internet, the production budget was $17M and the box office gross was $30M.  The rule of thumb is that generally the gross has to be double the production budget before the movie is considered to have made money(considering other costs, and that the box office gross is split several ways before it gets to the production company). But even though $30M at the box office is great, I’m sure the goal wasn’t to almost break even. It became one of those movies that’s so bad that you watch it to find out just how bad it is.  Perhaps there were many people who watched the sketches and wondered whether these guys have a back story. Terrible parents? What makes them go out to clubs every night and treat women so poorly? Deep thinking for sketch comedy. This movie is not about substance, and that’s just it. You watch Roxbury when you are looking for something meaningless to watch and want to bob your head to the side while listening to Haddaway’s “What is love”.


A Night At The Roxbury (Movie Review)