A Night at the Roxbury (1998)

night at the roxbury poster 1998 movie
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 3/10

Good cast

Not enough for the cast to do with not much of a plot

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Night at the Roxbury

Studio:  SNL Studios

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  October 2, 1998

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


I love this sketch…oh, wait…it’s the movie…

Steve (Will Ferrell) and Doug Butabi (Chris Kattan) have dreams of getting into the Roxbury and starting a nightclub of their own.  When they have an accidental run in with Richard Grieco, Steve and Doug’s dreams might come true when they meet the Roxbury’s owner Benny Zadir (Chazz Palminteri), but the next morning, their dreams seemed to crumble.  Now, Steve and Gary are fighting, and Steve is engaged to Emily Sanderson (Molly Shannon) so the store of his father (Dan Hedaya).  As the wedding day approaches, can Steve and Doug find that old Roxbury magic again?



Directed by John Fortenberry, A Night at the Roxbury was based on the Saturday Night Live skit which first premiered on March 23, 1996.  The film was panned by critics but still managed to make a profit at the box office.

A Night at the Roxbury is pretty basic, bad humor.  The movie was at the height of SNL pumping out movies tied to skits.  While movies like Wayne’s World and to a lesser extent Wayne’s World 2 worked, movies like A Night at the Roxbury and It’s Pat just kind of missed the mark.


Let’s get this party started!!!

The plot of A Night of the Roxbury is paper thin.  It is a bit unclear about what the plot is.  It starts out with them trying to get into the Roxbury…that happens.  Then it they want to get a meeting with Zadir…they get that too.  It goes to hell for a bit after that, but it becomes about them not being friends.  It ends up going back to wanting to be night club owners…It is a bit of a parody of Saturday Night Fever at points, but it just doesn’t seem to have any central theme.  If it had a developed storyline, it might have worked better.  Instead, it just feels like a long SNL sketch.


You’re psycho…like normal.

Ferrell and Kattan try really hard to make the movie funny, but not even they can make this movie very funny.  It does have some great cast members (also floundering and wasting themselves).  Loni Anderson and Dan Hedaya could be great as the parents, but don’t really get a chance to have much fun with their roles.  I always enjoy Molly Shannon, but she basically plays her typical character here.  Richard Grieco pokes some fun at himself by playing himself as the fear of being sued character.  Other small roles include Chaz Palminteri, Jennifer Coolidge, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Quinn, and Mark McKinney.  The movie also features one of the first roles by Eva Mendez as a bridesmaid.

A Night at the Roxbury is one of those throwaway comedies that you often forget existed.  There are definitely worse comedies, but there are also much better comedies.  The early venture by Will Ferrell did not rocket him to fame…watching it now, you’ll understand why.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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