Seth Rogen and company have tackled fatherhood in Knocked Up, the biblical apocalypse in This Is The End and North Korea in The Interview. Now it’s time for Rogen (assisted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie) to take on the Holiday Season in The Night Before. A raunchy drug infused take on our favorite Holiday classics like A Christmas Carol or It’s A Wonderful Life.
The Night Before circles around three friends (Rogen, Gordon-Levitt and Mackie) who make it a tradition to party like there’s no tomorrow every Christmas Eve. Joesph Gordon-Levitt plays Ethan whose parents were killed by a drunk driver years ago leaving him damaged unable to move on. So his two buddies Isaac (Rogen) and Chris made it a tradition to have a night of debauchery to keep his mind off this morbid anniversary. Only this year will be their last since Isaac is about to have a baby and Chris is becoming more famous as a popular pro football player. So the boys decked out in their tacky Holiday sweaters decide to make it count by attending an elusive party that is the place to be in New York City on Christmas Eve.
Now let’s get something out-of-the-way right now concerning The Night Before. The dirty holiday romp is far from a perfect film. The Night Before bounces around too much and has a hard time settling into the story with its manic pace. The film tries to have a heart, but regrettably doesn’t manage to balance the Holiday cheer with the dirty laughs very well. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is meant to be the emotional core of The Night Before, but his character isn’t given much depth besides he’s an orphan and bad at relationships. Same goes for Mackie as Chris the pro baller who is given silly side stories about obtaining weed and PEDs. The Night Before wastes two tremendous talents in JGL and Mackie, but luckily there is another culprit in this trio who carries the entire film on his back.
Seth Rogen is a one man comedic show in The Night Before that makes you forget all about the film’s flaws. Rogen plays Issac, a former pothead who is now a happily married lawyer expecting his first child any day now. Isaac gets a holiday gift from his wife for being such a good husband through her pregnancy. The gift she gives is a box full of drugs which Isaac ingests throughout the film creating some hysterical laughs with him wigging out in different situations. The Night Before is nowhere close to the best overall film Rogen has starred in, but it’s without a doubt one of his funniest performances. Rogen’s hilarious role makes The Night Before worth the price of admission even if the rest of the film is lacking that special something that makes it a groundbreaking comedy. Still The Night Before does what a comedy is supposed to do which is make you laugh.
Overall, I give The Night Before 3 out of 4 stars based solely on the uproarious performance.