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The Night Before (5/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 100 minutes.

Not for children.

Seth Rogen admitted on The Today Show that when growing up as a Jewish kid in Canada, Christmas ďalienatedĒ him. So heís getting his revenge with this F-bomb and expletive filled thing that defies categorization. Itís not a comedy because itís not funny. Itís not a romance because itís not romantic. Itís not a Christmas movie because itís canít possibly be seen by children and Christmas is really about children and the only Santa Clauses shown are drunken, unshaven people.

This starts out as a typical Seth Rogen movie with his dropping F-bombs all over the place. But heís not the only one dropping them. Every character in the movie uses the F-word as an essential part of their vocabulary. In fact, it seems that it would be impossible for any of them to even communicate without it.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rogen, and Anthony Mackie are best friends from high school who annually get together on Christmas Eve, even though Rogen is married to a pregnant wife (Jillian Bell), who lets him go out on Christmas Eve. Her character is the most unbelievable of them all. Rogen is an unregenerate jerk, rude to her parents and even her. The ending of the film where she reacts to something he has done is the most unbelievable part of the movie, utterly ridiculous.

In addition to Rogen, Jonathan Levine directed (and wrote with a bunch of other guys, which always is a bad indication, and in this case itís an accurate bad indication) and Lizzy Caplan, plays Gordon-Levittís love interest.

There are cameos throughout; Miley Cyrus, James Franco, and Tracy Morgan appear, of whom only Cyrus is memorable and that only because of the only good thing in the movie, a song she duets with Gordon-Levitt.

This is a secular view of Christmas, which is probably why itís so disaffecting. The idea of going out marauding on Christmas Eve is an alien idea, but thatís what Levine said he did, so he made a movie about it.