Starring: Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie
Director: Jonathan Levine
Running Time: 101 mins
The Night Before is an American film about three friends who are beginning to grow apart, until they reunite on Christmas Eve for the final instalment of their annual tradition, to have the biggest night out of the year.
The guys who brought you modern comedy greats like This Is The End, Bad Neighbours and The Interview have been on a roll these past couple of years, but, unfortunately The Night Before doesn’t quite match those standards. It’s without doubt a fun film, and has a convincingly cosy and non-cheesy Christmassy feel to it, but it lacks in big laughs, and really suffers from an often lagging screenplay that can get a bit boring to watch.
For the most part, though, there is a lot of fun to be had from this film. The camaraderie between Rogen, Gordon-Levitt and Mackie is really entertaining, and the various antics they get up to are stupid enough to put a smile on your face.
It’s also got a nice message, and doesn’t do it in a painfully cheesy way. It’s all about both thinking about your friends, but also accepting that times change and you can’t hold onto people forever, and it matches that with a very pleasant Christmassy tone that surprisingly sits well within all of the drug and toilet humour that you don’t normally get in festive cinema.
With regards to the comedy, it’s alright. There are two or three brilliantly funny scenes that I absolutely loved, but for the most part, I didn’t find myself laughing that much, not even really chuckling. Sure, I still enjoyed the movie, and was smiling at all the idiocy going on on screen throughout, but I didn’t quite feel the comedic brilliance that we’ve seen from these guys before shine through, and so it just wasn’t a hilarious film to watch.
The biggest issue that I have with this film is its pacing. The beginning and middle period, whilst not hilarious, moves along at a fast enough pace to remain engaging and enjoyable, but the final fifteen minutes or so are appallingly slow, nor are they funny at all. The film wraps up with a more generic holiday movie ending, and does feel a little forced and cheesy, but with no fun element to it, it just seems to drag on and on and on, making this film feel a lot longer to me than it actually was.
Overall, The Night Before is a fun film to watch, and you’ll enjoy it if you like the other films from this comedy group, but it’s not the best comedy you’ll see this year, and its ending is very disappointingly slow, so that’s why I’ll give it a 6.9.