Jonathan Levine's The Night Before tells the story of three friends, Ethan, Isaac, and Chris, whom for the past decade, have spent Christmas Eve together to reconnect around a night of debauchery. Now that they are officially entering adulthood, with Isaac expecting his first child, and Chris staying busy with his pro football career finally taking off, the tradition is officially coming to an end. Ethan is still struggling to grasp adulthood, and as the tradition comes to an end, he sets his sights on finally finding the Nutcracka Ball for him and his friends, a party which is considered to be the Holy Grail of Christmas parties. By now most should know what to expect when going into a Seth Rogan/Evan Goldberg comedy and The Night Before doesn't disappoint, being a often funny, crude comedy with heart. While the film oversteps its bounds when it comes to the more dramatic beats of the story, The Night Before excels when focusing on these three man-child type characters, each of which brings their own brand of humor to the table. Typical of these filmmakers the script feels well-written but more like a shell than anything, relying a lot on various improvisation throughout to provide its humor. While a tad strange to say, The Night Before really does embrace the spirit of a Christmas story, juxtaposing the debauchery and antics of its characters with the overwhelming sense of warmth and togetherness that often comes with the Holiday season. If there is one thing that stands out about The Night Before it would have to the host of cameos and supporting performances throughout the film, none better than Michael Shannon as Mr. Green, the local drug-dealer. While only in a few scenes throughout the film's running time, Shannon is an essential character to the story, providing some fantastic comedic moments with his reserved performance. While the dramatic beats of the film just don't work as well as they should, and The Night Before does struggle a bit with pacing in the middle, I'd be lying if I didn't say I had a good time, as the film does a fantastic job at capturing the holiday cheer through Rogen and Goldberg's man-child sense of humor.
Leave a Reply.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.