The last time Jonathan Levine made a movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen headlining its cast, he landed atop my best films of 2011 with the unforgettable comedy-drama, 50/50. Almost a handful of years later and the team have decided to sprinkle in some Anthony Mackie in what very well may be the buddy-buddy comedy of the year, The Night Before.
After tragically losing both of his parents on Christmas Eve several years earlier, Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) has relied on the debaucherous company of his best friends Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) to help get him through the holiday. However, as they grow older their wild annual antics must come to a close in one final night to remember. Yet, as the trio of friends are individually forced to face the biggest obstacles in their lives, they rediscover their ability to handle anything as long as they have the help of each other.
As expected, The Night Before delivers plenty of laughs and a whimsical holiday cheer. And although the film is obviously plagued by unforgivable situational conveniences and poorly developed subplots. the comedy is stellar enough to sustain the movie's infectious energy. While The Night Before falls well short of Levine's most respected work, it will longtime be remembered for its seasonal appeal and entertaining jokes.