The Night Before movie review: 'chaotic, stoner bro comedy that borrows from every other chaotic, stoner bro comedy in the history of chaotic, stoner bro comedies'
A gang of lads on the tear at Christmas, sporting silly jumpers and carrying out sillier traditions? No, this isn’t a weekend in Temple Bar in December; this is The Night Before, a chaotic, stoner bro comedy that borrows from every other chaotic, stoner bro comedy in the history of chaotic, stoner bro comedies.
The difference is that it’s set on December 24 and, well, there are all sorts of crude and uproarious, tinsel-coated shenanigans. Seth Rogen freaking out on ‘shrooms in a crowded church, for example. Or his mates performing Kanye West’s Runaway on a big keyboard mat. Oh yes, this is the kind of movie where no amount of alcohol or class A narcotics can break our protagonists down. They just keep on rockin’ hard — sometimes, with Miley Cyrus. It’s kinda hilarious.
The gist here is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s heartbroken loser Ethan is a 30-something orphan desperately clinging on to the only good thing in his world — festive pints with his buds, famous footballer Chris (Anthony Mackie) and dad-to-be Isaac (Seth Rogen). Life’s moving on, and much to Ethan’s disappointment, this is to be their last hoo-hah. They might as well go out on a high — and that they do (Isaac pretty much spends the entire film on drugs).
Our boys smash it up at a karaoke bar. They stop for supper and Nintendo at Chris’s mum’s gaff. Ethan picks a fight with Santa. Eventually, they find The Nutcracker Ball (aka, the greatest party in NYC). A brilliant Michael Shannon pops up as a weed dealer named Mr Green, old flames are reignited and Rogen, Mackie and Gordon-Levitt appear to be having a blast as they learn some important life lessons. For example, Miley Cyrus is actually pretty funny. Huh.