Movie Review (The Night Before)


RELEASE DATE: November 20, 2015
STUDIO: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Levine
MPAA RATING: R (for drug use and language throughout, some strong sexual content and graphic nudity)
SCREENWRITERS: Jonathan Levine, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir
STARRING: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell, Michael Shannon, Mindy Kaling
GENRE: Comedy

So, two Jewish guys and a black guy walk in to a bar on the night before Christmas (I think that’s how the joke starts ?). Anyway, that’s what three friends Ethan, Isaac, and Chris (Gordon-Levitt, Rogen, and Mackie respectively) do and have done for 14 years ever since Ethan’s parents died. It’s become a tradition with the best friends to spend every Christmas Eve running wild through the city doing things to remember for life. But alas,all good things must come to an end. As the three amigos have grown up and Isaac is starting a family and Chris has become a famous football star the tradition must fade away. This is their last night before together and it’s gonna be epic.

Now, if you’ve watched a Seth Rogen movie before and didn’t like his brand of humor… well then this isn’t for you. There’s f-bombs and weed smoking and phallic pictures galore in this one.
It’s not for everyone, but,if it’s for you this could knock A Christmas Story out as your yearly Christmas comedy movie to watch.

Rogen is hilarious as Isaac who’s high off of a plethora of drugs the entire movie. He hallucinates babies talking to him, his wife as a dragon and talks to a nativity scenes statues. It’s sounds insane but he makes it work. Gordon-Levitt is probably the least interesting character of the three as his funny isn’t so pronounced or off the wall. He’s the dramatic anchor and he does that well but, that doesn’t leave much him much room for memorable funny moment from Ethan. Mackie is funny but his best moment audiences have seen repeated on the commercial for this film repeatedly. The biggest surprise was Mr. Green the trio’s weed man from their high school days, played by Michael Shannon. He’s responsible for some of the funniest spots in the whole movie. He is superb.

There’s a giant yearly party that the buddies have always wanted to go to but never have until this year. They build up how insane this party is and it doesn’t disappoint when the movie finally takes us there. They enter on a train through a tunnel of white light and it just gets wilder from there. This the big celebrity appearance section of the film with athletes (Baron Davis), singers (Miley Cyrus), and Actors (James Franco, because no Seth Rogen movie is complete without a Franco cameo).

Through all the drugs and wild partying is a movie about change. And how your family, no matter you got it, will always be there for you. It’s got some heart behind it but not enough to bog down the comedy you came to see. It’s a good holiday film for stoners and grownups who don’t take their comedy too seriously.