The Night Before

COMEDY; 1hr 41min

STARRING: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie

Cut loose: from left, Gordon-Levitt, Rogen and Mackie

After 14 years of shared Christmas Eve cheer, Ethan (a lowish-key Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) are biting the responsibility bullet. An upcoming baby has caught up with lawyer Isaac and his wife, Betsy (Jillian Bell), while football stardom is claiming Chris. Ethan, on the other hand, is rut-stuck, noodling over his music and blowing it as an elf-costumed waiter. This concerns his two friends, who have long since looked after him, but right now they have a shindig to get to and a bunch of last hurrah drugs, generously gifted by Betsy, to get wasted with.


Not unexpectedly, the drugs aren't the brightest idea: in relatively short order, Isaac is stoned silly (Rogen is a chittering riot in scene after scene). Chris's weed has meanwhile been stolen (longish story), Ethan, still moping over his ex-gf (Lizzy Caplan), has been beaten up by two Santas and the night is still far younger than they're starting to feel. The guys are great together, sparking through every U-turn, and director Jonathan Levine keeps them hard at it. When the havoc reaches dippy heights, you're never going to want them to grow up.