While it has Genuine Love and Christmas Spirit, ‘The Night Before’ Goes Long Stretches Without Laughter

The Night Before follows three friends who, for years after one of the friends lost both of his parents to a drunk driver, have spent Christmas night out together as buddies but, as one is expecting a baby and the other has become a famous athlete, they have mutually decided that this Christmas will be the last as they just don’t have time for each other anymore.

Yeah… just imagine how this is going to work out at the end. Take a wild guess.

Most of the jokes boil down to Seth Rogan being both high and Jewish… you know, being Seth Rogan and, for the most part, The Night Before is exactly what you expect it to be: Christmas, debauchery, and drugs.

What sets it apart from most other stoner movies, and what will most likely make it a movie to remember as most of the other buddy/stoner movies fade into deserved obscurity, is that it is actually and unexpectedly heart felt and does adequately communicate the feel of the holidays like some movies have trouble doing for some reason.

Simply put, I actually liked these guys. I liked where they were coming from, I liked and related to their struggles and fears – the fear of being alone, the fear of being a parent, and the fear of not being accepted. These are things that all of us, in at least one part of our lives, can look at and say, wow… I’ve been there.

I also have to give props to this movie for not resorting to easy gross-out humor or mean-spiritedness which only helps intensify the good will that it radiates. The Night Before opts to be a silly, goofy celebration of family and friends and the bonds that make us close during Christmas and, while it does has some pretty explicit \jokes and the generally expected bad taste that an R-rated comedy usually has, it’s always done in a way that is never obnoxious or cynical.

This is probably one of the most warmest movies with explicit jokes I’ve ever seen.

If anything, I was shocked by how genuine this movie was with its themes of friendship, belonging, and fear of what the future has in store. I just wish that it had been more consistent not only with its message, but also with its humor as, for long stretches of the movie, the laughs grow oddly absent.

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