Kelly Wins Game Night (2018)!

game night 001Rating: C

Summary: A murder mystery party becomes real-life when the host gets kidnapped.

I didn’t want to like this movie. I usually don’t do comedies. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t genuinely enjoy myself during this one. I don’t think it was particularly deep with a message or anything and I’ve forgotten a lot of the jokes, but it was fun, there were some pretty clever callbacks, and you can tell there was some thought put into everything and that there was a genuine appreciation for its subject matter. It felt likeĀ Tag but more inclusive with women.

Game Night revolves around a couple (Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman) whose relationship is constructed on their mutual love of games- but really what it comes down to is embracing challenges and overcoming them as a unit. The foundation of the movie lies in their relationship, which is full of chemistry and well developed, as well as their dynamics with their friends. They all feel like people we know, couples that we can identify with, and it helps that all of their comic timing is spot on and it feels pretty… fresh.

That might be an odd term to use with characters that are familiar and a fairly predictable storyline, but there are really tiny nuances in this movie that show the filmmakers were having just as much fun as the actors. There areĀ a lot of references to all different kinds of board games (the neighborhood looks like a Life board from above) and they don’t shy away from being a little experimental. There’s one scene, shot and edited to look like one take, that moves through a mansion as the team passes an object to each other- through doors, off balconies, down the stairs, and so on and so on.

But alas- for every scene with great, frenetic energy and as things seem like they are ramping up, there are three really slow scenes. It’s not… terrible. It’s just… it’s like a real game.

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