The fifth day of Christmasathon brings an actual film in the way of 2015 comedy The Night Before. As Christmas films go, this isn’t the usual cuddly, heartwarming fare, which I suppose is to be expected as it stars Seth Rogen.
Anyway, Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has been spending Christmas eve with his friends, Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) since his parents died. And every Christmas eve he has attempted to get tickets to the mythical Jingle Bell Ball and failed. Over the years Isaac and Chris have grown up and moved on – Isaac is about to become a father and Chris is a famous athlete – but Ethan’s life has stagnated.
The trio decide to have one last Christmas eve together before they pack it in for good and focus on their new lives. It just so happens that fate has landed three tickets to the Jingle Bell Ball in Ethan’s lap and bizarrely Isaac’s heavily pregnant wife has given him a box of drugs to enjoy his evening. (FYI I have been a heavily pregnant woman and in no universe would this ever happen but whatever).
What follows is a night of utter carnage and debauchery as Ethan tries to win back his ex (Lizzy Caplan), Isaac realises he is petrified of becoming and parent and Chris tries to impress his teammates.
There are a few scenes in this film that are really funny and the friendship between the three guys is quite sweet. On the other hand it’s gross beyond a point that is really necessary as well as being really dark in some places. I guess this about trying to be an antidote to traditional Christmas films. It didn’t really work for me though. The best part of the whole thing is probably a scene stealing Michael Shannon as the gang’s high school pot dealer/philosopher.
Would I recommend it… probably not. Unless you really, really love Seth Rogen or jokes about middle aged men taking drugs.