Tell me if you’ve heard this story before. Three longterm best bros get together for one final hurrah, and in turn, spend the night on the craziest adventure of their lives with plenty of hijinks, a bad guy or two, and, of course, lots and lots of the green. And by the end, they find true love (platonic or romantic… usually both).
So yeah, add a Christmas tree and a hell of a lot of cameos (Miley Cyrus, Mindy Kaling, etc.) and you’ve got The Night Before, Seth Rogen and partner-in-crime Evan Goldberg’s latest comedy vehicle.
Directed and co-written by 50/50’s Jonathan Levine, The Night Before may be semi-predictable, but it’s fun nonetheless. The film tells the story of best buds Ethan (Joseph Gordon Levitt, Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) who have spent the night before Christmas together for the last decade. But things have changed. Isaac is starting a family, Chris is an insanely famous football player, and Ethan, well, he’s going nowhere. Their last night before takes a turn for the best when they attempt to make their way to a very exclusive party in the heart of Brooklyn.
So what happens on the way? Oh, you know, the usual. Drugs, lots of them. Weed. Coke. Shrooms. There’s karaoke, Michael Shannon, lots of dick pics, and even a rooftop chase.
The funniest parts of the movie are also the most surprising. Take, for instance, when a character is sort of crucified, which had the audience in stitches. Or there’s the moment when a manger comes to life. Kind of. That all sounds kind of insane, but it’s funnier than you think.
Tracy Morgan does a bomb ass job narrating the story, and the three leads do just enough for you to question whether you are watching them act or just hangout (this especially feels real when James Franco shows up). Gordon Levitt continues to shine as the guy who’s always a bit lost, Rogen spends most of the movie high out of his mind, but nails it as per usual, and Mackie is very appealing as a fame whore who’s obsessed with social media.
Sure, the ending is exactly what you assumed it would be, but it’s a crazy adventure getting there. There’s also something pretty realistic and heartwarming about the three leads’ friendship. Sure, things change, but your friends will always be there for you. The message may sound simple, but with comedies these days, it’s a dime a dozen.
The film hits theaters this Friday.
We had the opportunity to see the film at a special screening hosted by Joe Boxer on Nov. 16. A party followed at the DL, where guests enjoyed Serpent’s Bite Whisky, Budweiser, Red Bull infused cocktails and Dark Horse Wine. DJ Jonny was on the turntables. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and co-writer/director Jonathan Levine were all in attendance.
PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Allocca, StarPix