By Dave B.
In Game Night (2018, currently on HBO) an ultra-competitive couple, Annie and Max, and their group of friends have their weekly festivities spiced up by the arrival in town of Max’s wealthy brother, Brooks. Brooks, seemingly as part of his continuous quest to upstage his brother, organizes a professional murder mystery night for the group where one of them will be kidnapped while the rest attempt to solve clues and initiate a rescue. When the fake kidnapping turns out to be real, the stakes of game night have never been higher as the friends band together to save one of their own.
Game Night is a weird movie in that its plot is basic and predictable, but it’s very funny, nonetheless. I’d say I laughed through about 75% of the film, occasionally uproariously. Part of its appeal (for me) lies in the fact that it focuses on people who have crafted trivial competition into an art form. I know many people like that and count myself among them. The cast completely buys into the farfetched (yet basic) story with Rachel McAdams’ performance as Annie being particularly noteworthy. I also enjoyed the fact that the film shows it’s female characters as just as competitive as the men, exposing the oddly persistent myth that men are more competitive than women.
As far as comedies go, Game Night is good, but it’s just too predictable to be considered great. It clocks in at 101 minutes, which is just about the perfect length of time: long enough to care about the characters and the outcome of their ordeal, but not long enough for the somewhat ribald and often physical humor to get redundant. So I’m recommending Game Night. It doesn’t have as many moments of outright hilarity as the “Baywatch” movie, but it’s far more consistently funny and more than entertaining enough to help cap off an enjoyable night with friends (especially if you’re starting to hate each other after too much alcohol and Settlers of Catan).
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.