“Ninety-nine percent of the people who see Rough Night (Columbia, 6.16) will have no idea that it lifts its premise, and much of its flavor, from an edgy and overlooked 1998 movie called Very Bad Things, which starred Christian Slater and was Peter Berg’s first film as a director.

“It was about a group of guys who accidentally kill a prostitute during a bachelor party in Vegas; what they do to hide the disaster is hideous but — as Berg staged it — creepily plausible, and the film, though it never caught on, had a queasy power as a foray into the dark side of the male psyche.

Rough Night is a lighter entertainment. It’s Very Bad Things with the sexes reversed, but also with (a) a harmless synthetic dollop of the Hangover films, (b) a replay of the best-friend-of-the-bride jealousy drama of Bridesmaids and (c) a touch of Weekend at Bernie’s. It’s all been mashed together in the comedy compactor, yet the best thing about Rough Night is the feisty, claws-out spontaneity of its competitive banter between ‘sisters’ who love and hate each other.” — from Owen Gleiberman‘s Variety review.

I’ve only been back in Los Angeles since Monday night, but did I even get invited to see this thing? Of course not. Could I have wangled an invite if I’d politely written and asked? Probably. This is the way things have been for a while now. Half the time Hollywood Elsewhere has to ask to be invited, at least as far as your coarse, lowest-common-denominator, big-studio popcorn flicks are concerned.