Plot: Fourteen years prior, Ethan’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) parents passed away on Christmas Eve. His two best friends, Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie), have been with him in support on this night by having an annual tradition of going out on Christmas Eve. However, because Isaac is going to be a father and Chris has become famous, all three decide to have one last Christmas Eve out in New York City.
Review: Let’s be honest – people don’t get too excited about Christmas movies anymore. Most of the time, Christmas films are rom-coms or family comedies that end up being not so funny after all. The last holiday movie that I actually enjoyed might have been Elf(and that was almost 13 years ago). Will The Night Before finally be the Christmas comedy we have been waiting for? Or will it be a Christmas dud? Time will only tell if The Night Before will be considered a “holiday classic”, but for now; it is a great fun time at the movies.
The Night Before reunites director Jonathan Levine(50/50, Warm Bodies) with actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen(both starred in 50/50). If you haven’t seen 50/50, you are truly missing out on a very underrated movie. Luckily for the three of them – with the addition of Anthony Mackie – they have struck gold a second time. The story of this film is a genuine one: kid loses parents, his two best friends comfort him, they then start a tradition to always be together during the holidays. Just from typing that last sentence I totally forgot that this movie was a raunchy comedy.
Although the three characters are the leads, the story revolves more around Gordon-Levitt. He is so used to the tradition that his character is scared of anything that could break that(including having a family of his own). Unfortunately for him his two best friends have “grown up”. Rogen’s character has a baby on the way, and Mackie’s character is a famous athlete. All three actors are great in this, with Gordon-Levitt and Rogen getting a little bit more screen time than Mackie. For the record, I am very happy for Anthony Mackie. Obviously with his big part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s great to see him land great parts in great movies. The guy seems like a blast to be around. No need to talk about how great Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen are, as their chemistry in my opinion is just as strong as Rogen and James Franco’s and it shows on screen.
The rest of the supporting cast are fantastic with the fourth main character coming from Michael Shannon. Shannon is the typical neighborhood drug dealer with more to offer than what seems. His straight forward, calm type of acting goes great in a comedy like this. It makes it even more funnier. In my opinion Shannon steals every scene he is in. Also another great addition was Jillian Bell who plays Rogen’s wife who gives them the drugs for the night(to which she purchased off of Craigslist). Her scene with Rogen in the church was hysterical. Rogen’s character is Jewish and they attend a Catholic church: while he is high as shit. What else do I have to say about that? Also, be on the look out for all the great cameos in the movie. No way in hell I will ruin that for you guys!
All in all, The Night Before is everything you expected from a R-rated comedy coming from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg(Rogen’s producing partner). I wouldn’t call it perfect, it does have it’s minor flaws, but it doesn’t sink the film. With a great all-star cast like this, it’s hard to mess up. Easily the funniest movie of the year. So to the question I asked before, will The Night Before be remembered as a holiday classic? I think so. It was a lot better than that Harold and Kumar Christmas movie. I give The Night Before a very solid 8/10.