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A Night At The Roxbury

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Apparently seeking to continue Chris Farley's enduring legacy of awful, Saturday Night Live-derived buddy comedies, Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell bring their clueless, disco-dancing, club-hopping SNL characters—newly christened the Butabi Brothers—to the big screen in A Night At The Roxbury. Faced with the daunting task of transforming a skit involving a pair of hapless, near-mute disco dwellers into a feature-length movie, the filmmakers have given the brothers a backstory seemingly assembled at random from discarded scripts for past SNL projects. For the record, the boys have a gruff, wealthy father (Dan Hedaya, in a near-reprise of his role in Clueless), a mother with large breasts (Loni Anderson), and dead-end futures in their father's flower shop. All that changes, however, when they get into a fender-bender with poorly preserved 21 Jump Street star Richard Grieco. Grieco escorts the brothers into the title club, leading to a string of events that wouldn't seem out of place in a bad UPN sitcom. While Kattan and Ferrell's Roxbury Guys skits can be funny, they don't exactly lend themselves to the big screen. Much of what's appealing about the skits is their abstract, impressionistic quality, a quality that's lost when you convert them into a full-length feature starring a bland, dumb-and-dumber comedy team. Director John Fortenberry (House Of Buggin', Jury Duty) replaced original director Peter Markle (Wagons East) shortly after filming began, which may be part of the reason the film looks so ugly and disjointed, but it's unlikely that even Howard Hawks could save this woebegone mess. Running a mere 83 minutes, A Night At The Roxbury still feels like an eternity spent in bad high-concept-movie hell. A few good gags are scattered throughout, including an amusing Say Anything parody, but the good jokes stand out like a palm tree in a vast desert. And if, for some reason, you should decide to see Roxbury, be prepared to have Haddaway's maddeningly catchy disco anthem "What Is Love" running through your head for at least a week.