For Reel

The Night Before (2015)
December 3, 2015, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Jonathan Levine
3 Stars
The Night BeforeIf The Night Before is instantly forgettable, it is a nice reminder of the enormity of Seth Rogen’s undervalued talents as a comedian. In last year’s The Interview (as well as in films like Funny People and Neighbors), he played the straight man–his exasperated bewilderment at the idiocy of those around him was the source of his humor. The Night Before gives him a chance to go over-the-top on a drug binge and, if it is as amazing as it is predictable that Rogen is still mining humor from this sort of familiar setup, he is the best part of the film. Unfortunately, Anthony Mackie is under-served with a role as a steroid-abusing football player grappling with his newfound celebrity, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is just sort of an unconvincing drag as the ostensible romantic lead. Still, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and these Rogen pictures never fail to illustrate masculine friendship in a heartfelt, earnest way. Making a Christmas movie doesn’t seem like such a leap–that this film is about a surrogate family should be no surprise, as that’s essentially the movie that Rogen and co-writer Evan Goldberg have been making for years now.

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