The Night Before

November 20, 2015175 min

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except maybe three guys in some ugly Christmas sweaters that would scare any mouse. Like ugly Christmas sweaters, movies where everything goes wrong on Christmas are pretty common these days. While it is easy to make things go wrong, the challenge is to make it funny, something not every holiday movie can do (I am looking at you “Love the Coopers”). So what may you ask can take your Christmas movie on that  ride on the laughter sled? Adding Seth Rogen high on drugs is a good start.
Fourteen years ago Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) lost his parents in an accident, but his two best friends Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) made sure to be there for him as his new family. So every year on Christmas Eve, they would go out and paint the town red, and be there for each other. As the years passed, they all got older; Isaac got married to Betsy (Jillian Bell) and is expecting a child of his own, while Chris is a famous football player on top of the world. Ethan’s life though seems to be stuck in neutral as he is the only one holding onto the one night of the year they all let loose. When the trio meet up at Isaac’s for one of his last times going out before he becomes a father, Isaac’s wife gives him some things that will make his night a lot more fun. Things starts off like usual, but Ethan has acquired tickets to a party that has eluded them for years. In what is supposed to be their final night of a old tradition, the three of them discover what their friendship has really meant to each other.
Last year at this time, we are preparing for another film with Rogen in it, but it got a little side tracked when a leader of a foreign country tried to ruin our fun. This year the people behind this movie choose a subject everyone enjoys, that is Christmas. Written by a team of writers that include Evan Goldberg (Superbad) and Jonathan Levine (50/50) with the later also directing, you know that the film has the comedy part down. The star is Rogen, whose trip though drug lane, takes him on an adventure with many hilarious outcomes. Rogen is the engine that could, and provides a majority of the laughs, including one of being the recipient of a text exchange on a phone that is not his. Levitt and Mackie are good, but they often play the straight man next to Rogen’s antics. “The Night Before” provides a good amount of laughter that will make your eyes water, as well as making you chuckle the rest of the time. While those hard laughs are what you aim for, the smiles in between tell you are they are doing things right. As I have said before it is hard to know where the next Christmas classic will come from. With “The Night Before” it may not have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, but you will still leave the theater with a smile on your face, wishing everyone all a good-night!

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