On Friday, Cineroom’s 2015 Christmas month kicked off with a cinema visit to see our first festive film of the holiday period.
The Night Before beat Christmas movies Krampus and Christmas with the Coopers to the chosen tickets for our Friday night film.
The Night Before isn’t your usual Christmas film with ‘taboo’ subjects galore – but why not? It’s the magic of Christmas! Think The Hangover being rolled in mince pies and snowflakes, then you might be onto something this...
The Night Before begins by quickly catching up the audience on three best friends’ lives over the previous decade. Within five minutes we arrive on Christmas eve. The three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties whilst contemplating their current lives.
Seth Rogen, as always, plays the most comedic character role and nails it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the straight man to Seth Rogan’s clown with Anthony Mackie providing comedy support to both. The three have great chemistry and their on-screen stories are really relatable at this family time of year.
The comedy is top drawer in places, but also limp in some scenes – to be fair that is subjective to audiences’ humour. The more controversial the better for me! The narrative is quite strong for a Christmas movie too. Its fun, linear but also has a message. I think it is a great mixture.
Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) is a no-hoper with an average job, Isaac (Rogen) is a scared father-to-be and Chris (Mackie) is a famous sports star. The three have very different lives which provides the components for a decent dysfunctional, Christmas comedy – and that’s exactly what it is.
The Night Before is not the best festive film but it is a worthy addition to the back catalogue. The sweeping shots of New York are visually pleasing and makes everyone who doesn’t live in the Big Apple jealous of the folks who do during this particular season.
For me, the main downer here is the lack of creative comedy and the amount of it. When Rogen chugs down every drug under the sun like their Haribo – the consequences are hilarious. Scenes including a nightclub prang out and a church meltdown spring to mind. My personal favourite is when he is sweatingly flicking through ‘dick pics’ over Christmas dinner. To be fair, there are some surprisingly touching moments of festive loveliness, but it just lacks the constant killer-comedy.
The film flips between comedy and drama too often, leaving the film a bit messy. On the whole though, it is a solid effort – I can see most people loving it.
Cineroom’s Rating: 3 Stars
The Night Before was released on 4th December worldwide in selected cinemas – certificate 15.