The film combines two sub genres of comedy: the Christmas comedy and the party comedy. It's not the first time that this has been done, nor will it be the last, but it is extremely effective because of Rogen's humor. It still hits the obligatory beats of the Christmas film formula to be effective, but it also throws in a lot of good spins on some of them. In this way, it feels a lot fresher than most other Christmas comedies, and that is definitely part of why I like it so much. There are some goofy parts in the writing, like the box of drugs or the Red Bull limo, but they always end up being funny. Plus, there is also a lot of commentary about fame that is worked into the script that is really interesting and thoughtful.
Surprisingly, the cinematography in this film is actually pretty good. It's nowhere near awards-quality, but it hits all of the right notes. There are some great uses of the camera and lighting for characterization. The film also hits a lot of the other common beats, like the use of the dutch angle for suspense. Other shots are used to pay homage to some of the Christmas classics.
I also have to praise the acting of this film. Seth Rogen obviously does a good job playing the same role that he usually does, but he is funny. Joseph Gordon Levitt is also very funny, but serves as the emotional backbone of the film. Anthony Mackie also provides a good balance of humor and emotional depth to the role. There are also some hilarious cameos like Michael Shannon, Mindy Kaling, James Franco, and Miley Cyrus.
So overall, I really like "The Night Before". It's a pretty unique and very funny Christmas film, but like all other entries into the genre, it's definitely not perfect.. If you are a fan of Seth Rogen and haven't seen this one yet, I recommend it. You will enjoy it.
The Night Before
Big Tuna's Rating: B+
How Did I Watch It?: Starz On Demand.
Had I Seen It Before?: Yes.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.