The Night Before Review

19 Nov


The Night Before is being released in theaters about a month before Christmas, presumably to avoid polluting the holidays with its insipid humor and its irritating characters. The movie is half people partying and half Seth Rogen drunkenly stumbling his way through New York City, and what results is something I probably wouldn’t enjoy even if I were on drugs. Jonathan Levine attempts to inject some heart, some heartfelt lessons about enjoying yourself and then eventually having to grow up. He manages to find a balance between the touching and funny, utilizing his cast well as he tells a story that captures…I’m sorry, I went off on a tangent about 50/50 with this sentence.

Levine’s newest movie sets up backstories and relationships that he really wants us to care about and ignore, then forces us through comedically rich scenarios such as “high guy is over here” and “high guy is now over there” and “guy be trippin’, yo”. Furthermore, there is an incredibly bizarre Chris (Anthony Mackie) subplot involving Ilana Glazer as a Grinch of sorts, and it is just so damn inane that I cannot muster up the energy to explain it. Seriously, what is this, and why does it exist? If not for Michael Shannon and Nathan Fielder in small–but hilarious–roles, the movie would have very little redeeming value. There are some funny scenes and some touching scenes, but the climactic party doesn’t feel all that climactic, Lizzy Caplan is too good for this, and there is very little time to care about the characters because they’re usually off partying for our viewing pleasure. The premise itself isn’t limiting for the movie; rather, it’s the execution of that premise that fails on many levels. It comes across as a movie made by the three characters while in their drug-induced hazes rather than as a movie made about those three characters. Then again, it’s not like those three characters were that interesting to begin with.


Photo credits: The Night Before, Good Universe, Point View Pictures, Columbia Pictures


One Response to “The Night Before Review”

  1. MovieManJackson December 10, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    Didn’t watch, and based on your short post (some films aren’t worth it lol!), I’m not missing much! Nice review.

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