December 17: The Night Before (2015)

The Night Before. Directed by Jonathan Levine. Sony Pictures, 2015.

Pre-Screening Sips

  • This is another movie I first watched for a Birthday screening and we had an absolute blast
  • I distinctly remember this being the best of the recent raunchy Christmas movies, so let’s see how that holds up

Post-Screening Snippets

  • Tracey Morgan as the narrator is a brilliant choice for something so aware of its own ludicrousness
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt dressed up as an elf is working for me in ways I never expected
  • I really appreciate that this movie kind of serves as a self-knowing acknowledgement of Seth Rogen putting his man-child antics behind him; in fact, a bro-comedy where the men actually do experience growth is just nice to see all-around
  • Michael Shannon as Mr. Green is hilarious, unexpected, and only someone as strange and committed as Shannon could make this work
  • This is a great reminder that we need far more Mindy Kaling and far more Lizzy Caplan in our lives
  • Some of Ilana Glazer’s character’s jokes fall flat, but her presence as the movie’s Grinch (peep the green, fur-lined coat), is gold
  • I love that each of the characters’ journeys are Christmas Carol-esque
  • The “daughter becomes a stripper” fantasy scene is hilarious because of Jillian Bell, but irksome at the tired notion of stripping as a consequence of parental failure
  • The midnight mass sequence from beginning to end is true cackle comedy
  • Miley Cyrus’s chaotic Tik Tok energy started in this film
  • The Christmas movie references really serve as a love letter to other Christmas movies
  • Hmm. Still thinking about Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an elf…

The Final Hot Chocolate

            The Night Before is hilarious and surprisingly earnest in its brand of holiday cheer. It’s the perfect Christmas movie to watch with your friend-family. Just beware that Joseph Gordon-Levitt in an elf costume might awaken something in you.

GRADE: A-

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