Movie review of “The Night Before”: Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in a bromantic comedy saturated with drug jokes and self-indulgence. Rating: 1 star out of 4.
There’s a guy vomiting in the center of a cathedral during midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in “The Night Before.”
There’s an expectant father, deep in a drug-crazed frenzy, ranting unbridled baby hatred into a cellphone in “The Night Before.”
There’s a man freaking out at the sight of inappropriate (some would say pornographic) images on a cellphone in “The Night Before.”
Movie Review ★
‘The Night Before,’ with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan. Directed by Jonathan Levine, from a screenplay by Levine, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir and Evan Goldberg. 101 minutes. Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some strong sexual content and graphic nudity. Several theaters.
Same guy in all cases. It’s Seth Rogen, playing one-third of a bromantic triad in a comedy that positively revels in its grossoid irreverence.
Most Read Entertainment Stories
- Olympic broadcasters curb sexual images of female athletes
- 'Stillwater' review: Well-acted Matt Damon drama, patterned after the Amanda Knox case, implodes
- 'The Bachelorette' recap: Katie Thurston's men tell all
- Garth Brooks' Stadium Tour is coming to Seattle's Lumen Field
- Tacoma and White Center boast the hottest outdoor music venues in the Seattle area
The other two members are played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie. Friends since childhood, they’ve evolved a Christmas Eve tradition of bonding over booze and dope while attired in ugly holiday-themed sweaters. Such fun. But now, in their early 30s, and with a baby on the way for Rogen’s man-child and a career as an NFL star for Mackie’s, they’ve decided it’s time to put away the things of a man-child after one final blowout. Only Gordon-Levitt’s character, who is stuck in a rut of lonely aimlessness, is not ready to, essentially, grow up. They obsess and stress and mawkishly muse about the situation endlessly throughout the picture.
Endless also are scenes of Rogen’s character zapped on mind-altering substances, hallucinating extravagantly and melting down frantically. One is left with the distinct impression that the picture was made for people in a similarly fried frame of mind.
Self-indulgent? Definitely. Funny? Occasionally. Worst Christmas movie ever? Possibly.