By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B (3 stars)
First the apocalypse, then North Korea, now Jewish funnyman, Seth Rogen (This is the End, Neighbors, The Interview) takes on Christmas in the latest holiday comedy, The Night Before, directed by previous Rogan collaboration, Jonathan Levine (50/50). Now don’t expect it to be a cheery comedy to share with the entire family, no it’s not even close to Elf, The Grinch, or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, it’s more along the lines of Bad Santa or A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, where it’s a raunchy Christmas comedy to watch with your stoner friends after doing drugs and drinking.
Like many of Rogen’s other comedies, The Night Before banks on its crude humor, wild shenanigans, getting fucked up on drugs, and friendship. It’s sure to please fans of his movies, including myself, though I don’t think it’s quite as funny as This is the End or The Interview, but it delivers enough laughs to put a goofy smile on my face and Rogen and his two best friends have very strong chemistry, for a trio of goofy potheads.
Not to mention, it’s refreshing to see another Christmas movie in theaters, I haven’t seen a Christmas movie in the cinema since 2011. Yeah, I know it’s a crude and raunchy Seth Rogen comedy, but any movie that takes place during the holidays always helps me get into the spirit of Christmas, with pot and shrooms.
Fourteen years ago on Christmas Eve, Ethan’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt-Inception, Looper, The Walk) parents passed away and since then, his two best friends, Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie-The Hurt Locker, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron) have spent Christmas with him in support by having an annual tradition of going out on Christmas Eve and party like there’s no tomorrow, you name it, doing drugs, drinking beer, getting into crazy shenanigans, smoking pot, playing on the giant piano from the movie, Big, and partying in a night club.
However due to Isaac soon becoming a father and Chris has become a famous sports star, the three of them decide to do one last Christmas Eve together out in New York City.
Overall, The Night Before is a vulgarly hilarious way to get into the Christmas spirit, very much like Bad Santa and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, just don’t share it with your family this Christmas, it’s far from a Christmas family comedy. It works as both a Seth Rogen comedy as well as a Christmas movie, plenty of laughter and silliness will occur in this Yuletide cheerful flick.
Besides the comedy, the film also gives time to develop its characters and have some occasionally sweet and touching moments about friendship, yes it’s three guys doing drugs and getting into trouble, but it’s still three friends hanging out and having fun together on Christmas, it’s a strange kind of sweet.
I still prefer This is the End, The Interview, and some of Seth Rogen’s other movies over this, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it, no, I got plenty of belly laughs out of it, I just thought This is the End and The Interview were wilder with their humor. It’s hard not to enjoy the stoner comedic genius of Seth Rogen and not to mention this movie helped me get into the Christmas spirit once again.
If you’re a fan of Seth Rogen’s humor and want a funny movie to see during the holidays, this is probably your flick, just don’t take your kids to this Christmas comedy.