“I toyed with the idea of making this post rhyme. That idea didn’t last long.
I sorta have a ranked list of movies I need to watch each Christmas (and certain ones for other holidays). While I don’t think The Night Before is gonna end up anywhere high on the list, I feel like it makes a good shortcut movie. There were so many references to movies that I love (Christmas and otherwise), I could almost watch this instead of like three other ones. Home Alone, Die Hard, It’s a wonderful life, Big (I don’t think that’s Christmas though). Except that I love those other ones so much more.
Now, I do love some irreverent comedy, which is among the reasons why I am a fan of Seth Rogen. And teaming him up with his 50/50 costar, Joseph Gordon-Levitt made me really excited. Plus Anthony Mackie thrown in for good measure. The film follows those three lifelong friends who have a tradition of having a crazy Christmas Eve to ring in the holiday together. After over a decade of this, the boys are growing up, albeit reluctantly, and have decided that this will be their last holiday blowout. So of course they decide to go out with the biggest bang possible.
It was certainly a good effort. Lots of laughs were had in what I hear was a mostly improvised screenplay. But it didn’t really wow me. Things dragged, or went too far just for the sake of going too far, or didn’t always make sense, or inevitably got too sappy at key moments. Also, I think the biggest hit against it was that it felt so much like A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, and while it may just be because it was first, I feel like H&K did it better. If the humor of this does appeal to you, it is worth the one watch. There certainly are plenty of fun surprises. But for a holiday that already has a long list of associated movies, this one feels a little unnecessary. Hopefully these boys team up again for something else soon.
The Night Before – \m/ \m/ \m/”