THE NIGHT BEFORE
FILM REVIEW - THE NIGHT BEFORE
Directed by Jonathan Levine.
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie.
Basic bromance comedy formula no. 1
Having satisfied his inner thespian in Steve Jobs, Seth Rogen reverts to type and ingests a selection box of narcotics.
The story of The Night Before is basic bromance comedy formula no. 1, involving a night on the town with best buds Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) and their quest to find “The Nutcracker Ball” – the holy grail of Christmas parties. Hijinks ensue, lessons are learned, values are reassessed, and we all grow up just a little bit. Et cetera. But nobody’s watching this stuff for story.
In all fairness to Rogen, most of the laughs on offer are down to his ad-libbed paranoid hophead schtick. Elsewhere, the jokes amount to lazy riffs on other, better movies and crude pop culture references. Most miss the mark – even the actors look mortified trying to sell “Wrecking Ball” like it’s something off Pet Sounds, but the penny drops when Miley Cyrus makes a late appearance. And sings. Hurrah.
In a nutshell, The Night Before is “The Twelve Pubs of Christmas: The Movie.” If bongs, novelty jumpers and al fresco urination crack you up, then you’ll love this.