Saturday, November 28, 2020

1 Night in San Diego: Movie Review

Directionless comedy and no good jokes.

Starring Laura Ashley Samuels and Jenna Ushkowitz as Brooklyn and Hannah, 1 Night in San Diego is a girls’ buddy comedy, with some not funny attempts at comedy. Brooklyn and Hannah are two Hollywood divas. There's a vague background for Hannah, she’s semi/formerly famous from a New Jersey-set reality show and new to LA. Brooklyn thinks she’s an influencer, but no further introduction.   2020

Directed by: Penelope Lawson

Screenplay by: Penelope Lawson

Starring: Laura Ashley Samuels, Jenna Ushkowitz

Brooklyn is obsessed with fame and boys, and then discovers some guy on one of her many dating apps is in San Diego so the girls go for the road trip. The two-hour drive from LA to San Diego is considered a road trip, complete with rest stops, photo ops, and complaining about how slow Hannah is driving. It also provides us with the first obvious joke that falls flat. The girls rent a car from a place pronounced Dewey’s but spelled DUI’s. Hannah also shows up with a really bad fake tan that she doesn’t seem to realize is so awful-looking but is convinced it’s supposed to look like that until she showers where the excess will wash away and leave her skin with a more sun-kissed glow, and that, like worked? She had a bad tan and then she didn’t. It seems like a wasted joke since it didn’t go anywhere.

That’s the big issue with the movie is that it just doesn’t really go anywhere. They make it to San Diego with a half-baked plan of meeting a random stranger, stumble into an amateur theatre night, go to a club, lose their keys and wallet, get thrown in jail, and find an old friend who has turned to meditation. It all just happens but with no good jokes and no purpose.

The ultimate end goal of the movie is Brooklyn and Hannah becoming better friends, but they’re not interesting characters in the first place with very little backstory. The film didn’t give the audience any reason to get invested in these characters. Both Laura Ashley Samuels and Jenna Ushkowitz give good performances. If the writing was stronger, the actresses are engaging enough to make it more compelling, but they are unable to elevate this film into anything substantial.

1 Night in San Diego is a directionless comedy; most of the jokes are bad and the characters and their situations aren’t particularly interesting or original.