‘This is our last Christmas together…’
Seth Rogen totally holds this film together. And that is something I never thought I would ever find myself saying. Not since Knocked Up way back in 2007 has Rogen been such a compelling on screen presence. His turn as the most idiotic of three unwise men at Christmas is truly something to cherish. He plays a drug crazed lunatic so convincingly that you could take him out of this film, pop him into a serious drama movie and his performance would fit just as perfectly. Rogen is truly, laugh out loud funny for the first time in a lot of years. Unfortunately, his supporting cast are nowhere near as memorable.
Christmas films are almost always sentimental and for that sentiment to work we need to like the characters. Unfortunately, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie play a pair of complete bell ends. ‘Tumbling tumbling dickweeds’ to quote Patrick Bateman. Mackie is all wrong for this film but in fairness his character is just awful and Gordon-Levitt is stuck in a haze of smugness that he just can’t ascend from. I call it Affleck syndrome. Cali’s favourite son managed to escape that malaise to become a handsome, wonderful, bearded man. I fear Gordon-Levitt is destined to be playing these same characters forever. And he has too many surnames.
Away from that trio of actors though is a ridiculously good list of cameos, which I won’t ruin here, but I will say shout out to Michael Shannon, who is awesome. Basically, Jonathan Levine has directed a film that is very hit and miss. Therefore, The Night Before struggles to justify it’s running time and is predictable and throwaway but it also made me genuinely laugh out loud in places. Something that I think was only partly down to all the Disaronno I had drunk while watching it…
Aside from Seth Rogen and all the laughs, The Night Before also presented me with Miley Cyrus for the second year running. She also featured in A Very Murray Christmas back in 2015. I feel like I have to try and keep that run going next year somehow. Step up Miley.
To conclude, If you are looking for a third film to follow anti Christmas movies like Bad Santa and Scrooged, or if you just want to hear a festive ‘cunt’ from Seth Rogen, then The Night Before is undoubtedly the film for you.