Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen), and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been friends since childhood, and for a decade, their yearly Christmas Eve reunion has been an annual night of debauchery and hilarity. Now that they're entering adulthood, the tradition is ending, and to make it as memorable as possible, they set out to find the Nutcracka Ball--the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
'The Night Before' a gift for those on the naughty list
Winter is the season audiences are forced to unwrap gifts of the latest Holiday- themed movie offerings. The taped wrapping paper – festive and jolly in it's presentation – causes the viewer to squint from the boisterous colors, like nursing a terrible hangover from downing an excessive amount of eggnog the night before. The films are usually lackluster efforts, forcing the message of 'joy to the world' down the consumers throat like a stale and unwanted candy cane left over from a Christmas past.
Watching 'The Night Before' – the latest offering from talented director Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, 50/50) – is like Santa fulfilling all your wants on a Christmas list, despite being very naughty all year.
Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star as three friends – a comedic parallel of the biblical three wise men – whom reunite each Christmas Eve to stage various shenanigans. After Ethan's (Levitt) parents tragically pass away, Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) step in to assume the mother and father role for the wayward youth. Several years later, the trio receive lumps of coal in their stockings in the form of adulthood – Isaac is an expecting father; Chris is a social media famous football player, juicing up to stay relevant; Ethan is a retailer belittled in an elf costume, unable to let go of his morbid past.
The shifts of maturity have made them distant from one another; with their lives moving in different directions, they decide this Xmas reunion will be their last together. Mischief abounds when Ethan discovers tickets for the "Nutcracker Ball" in a patrons clothing at a coat check- a fabled party that the boys have sought to attend since they originally started the tradition.
Rogan steals the show. When Isaac's wife slips him a hodgepodge of various illegal substances as reward for being a devoted husband, Rogan displays each violent hallucination with hilarious intensity.
There are plenty of 'Ho Ho Hos' to go around, and the sleigh-loads of laughs lasts the entire movie – a rarity in comedies when the third act is usually a reprieve for various characters to have epiphanies and change their lives.
'The Night Before' is destined to be a Christmas cult classic akin to 'Bad Santa'.
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