Review: Girls’ Night In

Written and directed by Emmett Loverde, after a misunderstanding between best friends, they go their separate ways until they realize they are stronger, braver, and happier together. Starring: Tiana Tuttle, Alexis Phillips, Samantha Skelton, Arielle Gottesman, Alexa Reddy and Ella Kendall.

Even before you jump into the actual events or style of the film, the opening credits give you the biggest clue of its very 90s vibe, attempting to live between Ally McBeal, Friends and Beverly Hills, 90210. That then gives you a huge insight into the content of this film, it’s all on the surface, dealing with looks and insecurities, the typical subjects you’d find in any 90s drama or sitcom. Both of those elements are then going to very quickly colour whether or not you’ll enjoy this film. It doesn’t have a great deal to offer in the emotion department or surprises. Similarly the characters aren’t entirely developed, they’re given slightly different values but otherwise tick the same boxes.

Visually it fits with that 90s feel, it’s surprising to find a film that captures the aesthetic and not just in the fashion or decoration, it does genuinely feel like it could have been made twenty or more years ago. It also adopts a narrator style, accenting each chapter of the story, which feels like an unnecessary detour, and adds an extra layer of cheesiness. As you’d expect with a story like this it also falls into a number of classic stereotypes, the pretty dumb girl trope and the like. The entire tone to the writing is rather old-fashioned for today and it would maybe fit more appropriately into television rather than film.

The performances are decent but they are playing to those stereotypes which knocks them down a peg or two. They do feel convincing but the writing requires them to overact or emphasise which can come across as particularly inauthentic. They also don’t provide enough to make the characters feel individual or genuine, they remain pretty artificial. Particularly with Tuttle’s Jessica, she feels pulled right out of the 20th century playbook of cliched female characters, without a woman’s touch, approaching parody.

Girls’ Night In struggles to make a place for itself in the modern world, it feels too succinctly 90s, including the attitudes and stereotypes, to justify making it today. For anyone who’s a major fan of old-fashioned female centric sitcoms, it may hit the right nostalgia buttons but it doesn’t have too much to offer in the form of an emotional or comedic story.

Verdict: ✯✯ | 4/10

Available now on Prime Video

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