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The Night Before Review | The Reel Roundup

TRR: Directed by Jonathan Levine, The Night Before may look like just another excuse for Seth Rogen to run around sweating, panting and acting like a madman who's high on cocaine, weed, and 'shrooms. But make no mistake, beneath all the jokes about religion and male genitalia lies a genuinely touching and heartfelt story about the true meaning of Christmas: family and friends. In it, Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie play three "ride-or-die homies" named Isaac, Ethan and Chris, whose Christmas tradition for the past 14 years has been to hang out with each other on Christmas Eve, get piss drunk and make asses of themselves. But now that they're all in their thirties, that tradition is about to come to an end, though not before they get into the party to end all parties: The Nutcracka Ball. Of course, it's not easy for a movie to try and be sincere about the meaning of Christmas without coming off as artificial. But once The Night Before hits its stride, it becomes very easy to lose yourself in the hilarity, so much so that you may not even anticipate the emotional wallop waiting for you at the end. No, the emotional underpinnings of the story are nowhere near the same level as Levine's breakout film, 50/50, but the story's dramatic core is surprisingly solid. Factor in the hilarious supporting cast, and you can consider The Night Before your new Christmas movie tradition.

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