‘The Night Before’ is a good sleigh ride

Seth Rogen, and more accurately his writing partner Evan Goldberg, do the same old shtick, and still produce a quality comedy flick.

“The Night Before,” directed by Jonathan Levine and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rogen, gives a Christmas surprise worthy of a second viewing.


Ethan (Gordan-Levitt) has celebrated Christmas with his friends Isaac and Chris for 10 years. Since his parents died, it has been the one constant in Ethan’s life — but it’s all coming to end.

Isaac is having a baby and Chris has become a famous football player. Both are at a point in their lives where they just can’t party like they used to. But on this joyous occasion each person comes to terms with a problem in their life, and gets a little too drunk or high.

Christmas comedies usually fall between two types: Either a classic, like “Christmas Vacation,” or awful, like “Christmas with the Cranks.”

But, sometimes a film lands right in-between will come along and raise your holiday spirits. It probably won’t become anybody’s Christmas tradition, but “The Night Before” is a generally good holiday film.

The movie toes the line with Rogen-esque joke, including pot jokes and incredible improv, and that’s fine.

“The Night Before” has a lot of similar gags from films like “The Interview” and “This is the End.” Sometimes the ludicrous situations and drug related humor get old, look at the “The Interview” again, and other times it’s just as funny as the first round.

This film also has an incredible amount of depth.


Rogen personally doesn’t have a screenwriting credit on this, but his influence is all over.

Him and Goldberg usually add a pretty relatable and interesting theme to their films. This one is no exception.

“The Night Before” is littered with ideas of growing up as friendships move apart. Both of these hit pretty hard, especially for an all-out comedy.

However, the movie does miss the use of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Gordon-Levitt is one of the best actors today. He is guy who, in any film, good or bad, will perform well. He just comes off as an awkward member of this trio.

It feels like the actor or filmmakers sleepwalk when it came to this character.  He feels like the non-existent member, even though he dominates the screen time. 

Stars: 4 out of 5

Jacob Pierce can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacobPierce1_DE.