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Film / A Night at the Roxbury

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A Night at the Roxbury is a 1998 comedy movie directed by John Fortenberry, spun off from the recurring Saturday Night Live skit starring Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan (originating the "Roxbury head-bop", with the brothers (and the guest star) shaking their heads to the Haddaway song "What Is Love"). The movie tells about Doug and Steve Butabi's journey as they get into the biggest and best nightclub in the city.

This film provides examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: Steve and Emily, more or less. Mr. Butabi thinks that a business-driven girl like Emily will make someone out of his son.
  • As Himself: Richard Grieco from 21 Jump Street as the celebrity who eventually get the Butabis into the Roxbury after a fender-bender, and eventually participates in Steve's wedding in hopes of not getting sued.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Dooey, though it seems to be less about Mr. Zadir's level of competence and more about the strange tasks he's given. That and Zadir's constant (though playful) accusations that Dooey grabbed his ass.
  • Captain Obvious: "You can take away our keys, and you can take away our cell phones, but you cannot take away our dreams!" "Yeah, because we're, like, sleeping when we have them!"
  • Celebrity Paradox: One scene involves a performance of the Cheers theme song. The movie also has Dan Hedaya, who was on Cheers several times.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Steve is trying to teach Doug how to correctly page Cambi and Vivica.
    Doug: Excuse me, Bill Nye the Science Guy.
    Steve: That's a sweet show too.
    • When Dooey angrily tells Doug and Steve that he was out until four in the morning finding more Fluffy Whip for the party guests to get high on, which was the brothers' idea:
      Steve: From dusk till dawn, you, sir, are a party animal!
  • Comically Small Bribe: Doug and Steve try to bribe their way into the hottest club in town with $8.25.
    Steve: That's not what my friend told me, maybe you know him. His name is Abraham. You don't know him..."
    Doug: What about his two friends? George Washington and George Washington?"
    Steve: Don't forget the other boy in the band: George Washington. He's a little lonely. Wants to join his buddies.
    Doug: And look who else we've got. Roosevelt, Roosevelt and Jefferson."
  • Coolest Club Ever: The actual coolest club to ever be seen in movies — Exit (which was dreamed up by the main characters), where the inside looks like the outside, and the outside looks like the inside.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The protagonists always fail to get into nightclubs. At the end of the file, this streak is technically never broken, thanks to their inadvertent masterminding of a nightclub whose inside looks like its outside and vice-versa, meaning that they've technically turned the world into a nightclub and been thrown out of it!
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Mr. Butabi disapproves of his sons' desire to open a nightclub, instead trying to push them toward a future of working in his fake plant store.
  • First World Problems: Steve worries about Doug's lack of amenities when Doug moves into the poolhouse.
    Kamehl: He's in the guesthouse, it's ten feet away, it's a mansion in there!
    Steve: There's no cable!
    Kamehl: Yes there is! They have Cinemax!
    Steve: BUT THERE'S NO HBO! [runs away sobbing]
  • Funny Background Event: During the scene where Doug and Steve load the truck with plants, Doug is angrily firing the plants into the van while Steve is talking to Emily, then when Kamehl Butabi is sucking up to Emily's father, Doug is mimicking him behind his back.
  • Gold Digger: Cambi and Vivica, who take Doug and Steve's V-cards midway through the movie, only do so because they assume they are rich.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: When Steve and Doug have sex with Vivica and Cambi, it's a disappointing experience for the girls, given they both lasted less than a minute, but they don't care and are more concerned with congratulating each other on getting laid.
  • Lovable Jock: Craig, Doug and Steve's friend and personal trainer. His introduction scene has him gently scolding the brothers about their wrong technique on a tricep exercise and then immediately apologising for his remark.
  • No Social Skills: Doug and Steve are very aggressive, creepy, and thickheaded in their attempts to pick up girls. Even when they find two girls that are actually interested in them, they can't help nearly blowing it.
  • Overly-Long Gag: After their dad tells them to get to work, the duo "psh" (scoff) at him over and over after he leaves while their mother looks on in confusion.
  • Pun:
    Craig: Man, I owe you...
    [pulls out an energy bar called "Big Time"]
    Craig: BIG TIME! For bringing me here!
  • Running Gag:
    • "Doug and Steve Butabi." "Are you two brothers?" "No... YES!"
    • "Did you grab my ass?"
    • The Emilio Estevez story.
    • Richard Grieco wanting to avoid a lawsuit from the Butabi brothers.
  • Scary Black Man: Michael Clarke Duncan is the bouncer at The Roxbury. Doesn't get much scarier than that.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: Doug and Steve with Cambi and Vivica.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: There's a shot of a Fanservice Extra extra at the party exiting the pool topless right in front of Steve And Doug. She asks them for a Modesty Towel, but they're too Distracted by the Sexy to understand her.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 21 Jump Street and Johnny Depp are referenced by Mr. Zadir and Doug when talking to Richard Grieco. He isn't amused.
    • The scene in which Doug apologizes to Steve and Steve accepts ("You had me at hello!") is a direct parody of a scene in Jerry Maguire, complete with the use of "Secret Garden" by Bruce Springsteen in the background.
  • Speed Sex: When Steve & Vivica and Doug & Cambi get a Sexy Discretion Shot, the following scene has the subtitle "42 seconds later" as both guys rush out into the hallway to congratulate each other on Their First Time. Later it's shown that Vivica and Cambi weren't impressed.
  • Toplessness from the Back: The girl getting out of the pool topless in front of Steve And Doug has her back to the camera the entire time.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Steve and Emily engage in this in the Jacuzzi next to the poolhouse where Doug is holed up, much to his disgust.
  • Wannabe Line: Half the plot revolves around getting past the tremendous line in front of the eponymous club.
  • Yandere: Doug refers to Emily as this. Steve doesn't believe it... until his dad gets him engaged to her.
  • Yawn and Reach: Steve does this to Emily on the first date. Emily, being completely infatuated with Steve, removes his hand from her shoulder and cinches it to her breast.