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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.

The film received mixed reviews and did moderately well at the box office. However its reputation and popularity grew in later years.


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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.
  • 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 Small Bribe: Doug and Steve try to bribe their way into the hottest club in town with $8.25.
    "That's not what my friend told me, maybe you know him. His name is Abraham. You don't know him..."
    "What about his two friends? George Washington and George Washington?"
    "Don't forget the other boy in the band: George Washington. He's a little lonely. Wants to join his buddies."
    "And look who else we've got. Roosevelt, Roosevelt and Jefferson."
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  • 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.
  • Double Entendre:
    "Doug, if I told you you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?"
    (and also) "Nice bulbs, Emily. ...Oh, and I don't mean that metaphorically."
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After some initial success halfway through the movie, all of Doug and Steve's plans quickly unravel, causing a rift between them and allowing their father to push Steve into marrying Emily. After Doug interrupts Steve's wedding at the last second, things quickly take a turn for the better and everything the brothers had been wishing for quickly falls into their lap.
  • Erotic Eating: Emily tries this on Steve, but fails.
  • 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the beginning of the pool party scene, the camera pans past a topless woman sitting poolside. Not completely unheard of in a PG-13 movie in the 90s, but pretty rare.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
      "EMILIOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
    • 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
  • 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Roxbury Guys are this to a previous Saturday Night Live duo, Wild and Crazy Guys.
  • Toplessness from the Back: The girl getting out of the pool.
  • Yandere: Doug refers to Emily as this. Steve doesn't believe it... until his dad gets him engaged to her.

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