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Girls' Night In (Beauty, Brains, and Personality) (2021) Film Review


Directed by: #EmmettLoverde

Written by: #EmmettLoverde


 

Three best friends meet for a monthly dinner party, when an incident occurs which causes them to separate and revaluate their friendship and, by extension, themselves as individuals.


Girls' Night In (Beauty, Brains, and Personality) (2021) is a comedy/drama based on director Emmitt Loverde’s most popular play and is scheduled to be released onto streaming sites like Amazon Prime, Xfinity and RCN by Green Apple Entertainment. The film may promise a quirky tale with laughs, but this was unfortunately did not deliver for this critic.


The three lead women struggle with their friendship when one announces: “Together we make the perfect woman – you’re the brains, you’re the personality, and I’m the beauty!”. Lynette (Phillips) is the ‘smart’ one with a PHD, Jessica (Tuttle) is the self-designated beauty working as a receptionist at a company and Candace (Skelton) is the ‘personality’, adapting to a new lifestyle as she prepares for the arrival of a baby from a sperm donation. The narrative is framed by Maddie (Samantha Elizabeth Johnson), the grownup daughter of the trio who raise her together. She who introduces scenes and fills us in on her mothers, with some black and white flashbacks taking place to early times in their lives when the three first met as kids.

The three leads pose for the camera in a medium close-up
Girls' Night In (2021) film screenshot

It is clear that the movie is a play to film adaption due to the majority of scenes taking place in Lynette’s apartment, where the leads sit and talk about various topics, especially in relation to sex and men. The cinematography is flat and uninteresting, with some poor continuity editing noticeable at the beginning, when Lynette answers the door to one of her friends and she suddenly disappears in the next shot to be magically appear on the other side of the room. The pacing is also very off during the first few sequences, where we are immediately overwhelmed with many characters and flashbacks to people we barely know any context about, making for a confusing opening. The narrative device of Maddie does unfortunately come across as too cheesy, with photo frames sitting next to her of the characters she is going to discuss with us next and the ending also leaves a lot to desired with its over-sentimentality.


The film incorporates a similar style to the sitcom with situational comedy and depending on the viewer’s sense of humour, the comedy will either amuse or appear quiet forced and staged. The latter is the general consensus this critic gathered from not just the comedy, but the characters themselves and performances. The movie did feel very scripted and line delivery was often unconvincing and robotic from all involved, making it difficult to become emotionally invested in the relationship between the three women.


As the film does focus on the comedy, the themes of feminism and female sexuality are addressed in a light-hearted manner, but the title is likely to be off-putting due to the implication it gives towards how women should identify as with stereotypes. Of course, the movie does eventually emphasise that women can be whatever they want to be and do not need to conform to labels, however, the message was too obvious and on the nose from the start and only confirms what audiences already know.


In the end, Girls’ Night In is a difficult film to review as humour is purely dependent on the viewer’s personal taste and this movie may find its audience with its style of comedy. However, the film suffers from a predictable, formulaic narrative with problematic execution and underwhelming performances – not the most entertaining night in!

 

Girls' Night In (2021) trailer:


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