WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Levine, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Evan Goldberg
DIRECTED BY: Jonathan Levine
STARRING: Seth Rogen, Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie
RATING: 3.5 stars
Isaac (Seth Rogen), Chris (Anthony Mackie) and Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are best friends. Ever since Ethan was orphaned as a teenager, they have celebrated the festive season together, but their lives are changing with age. Chris is now a famous football player and Isaac is about to become a father. Meanwhile, Ethan is struggling through life again after his girlfriend (Lizzie Caplan) dumps him. Things start to look up for Ethan when he stumbles upon three tickets to an annual mysterious Christmas party he has always wanted to attend. The trio use the opportunity to have one final amazing Christmas together.
What makes The Night Before so enjoyable is that it has all the heart-warming themes of Christmas including love, family and faith, while also being full of the kind of humour we have come to know from Rogen and his buddies, including drug references, toilet humour and other dirty jokes. Rogen, Mackie and Gordon-Levitt might not seem like a typical trio of friends, but they clearly had a lot of fun making this film. Michael Shannon is also worth noting for his minor but pivotal role as a whimsical drug dealer. There are also some hilarious cameos and clever references to other Christmas tales including A Christmas Carol, Die Hard and many more. The Night Before is not a film for young families, but for those who have a household of teenagers and adults, it could very well become a new Christmas film tradition.