PLOT- After a drunk driver kills his parents close to the holidays, Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) starts a tradition of spending Christmas Eve with his two childhood friends, Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie). The tradition has been going on since their teens, but now in their early-thirties, they have decided that this will be the last year that they celebrate together. Isaac is about to have his first child and Chris is a famous Athlete. Only Ethan remains stuck in life, heartbroken over his recent break-up with Diana (Lizzy Caplan) and working odd-jobs while his music dreams stagnate. Isaac and Chris hope to spend this last Christmas Eve having a serious talk with Ethan regarding his future, while Ethan has other plans; he has stolen tickets to the top-secret Nutcracker Ball, a party of mythical legend.
LIKE- This time of the year, a lot of fantastic, Oscar-worthy films are released. The Night Before is clearly not in that category. Admittedly, I was a little loathe to see this in place of a "better quality" film, but it just fit into our plans on Sunday. We needed something light and fun. The holiday theme was also a bonus.
I come from a really small family and all of my relatives have passed away. I very much connected with the spirit of this film, the idea of friends being family. I didn't expect The Night Before to have such a strong, sentimental current, but it does.
Although much of the humor falls flat, there were several parts that made me laugh out-loud. I liked the product placement humor with Chris, as an athlete with a recent endorsement contract from Redbull and a phone company ( can't remember the carrier). It's clever and funny.
DISLIKE- The Night Before is a little too outrageous and silly. It might have been funnier, if they had reigned in some of the more outlandish portions. The outrageous didn't mesh well with the sentimental, making for a disparity in the overall tone of the film. I have to fess-up that I even fell asleep during the middle. It failed to hold my interest.
RECOMMEND- Definitely not in cinemas. The Night Before is a typical Seth Rogen movie. If you like his stuff, wait until it's a rental.