2015, Movies

The Night Before (2015, Jonathan Levine)

This is one of those seemingly innumerable movies where celebrity cameos are viewed as a substitute for a good story and laughs. This is one of those “spot the cameo” movies, with a host of famous people popping up at different points. I suppose Scrooged is like that too, but at least it’s working off of A Christmas Carol.

The first third of this movie is kind of awful – there are numerous montages and I don’t know that I laughed. When I did finally laugh, however many minutes in, I even noted it. But things pick up as the “quest” takes a little bit more form and it’s not just a bunch of montages of the three guys. I’m not sure whether it’s because I warmed up to the movie, but it felt materially better the weirder it got.

There are funny moments, for sure, but many of them involve the drug trip and not too many of them involve elements of story or the characters, which is unfortunate. And though I definitely laughed lot more in the latter parts of the film, I’m not sure how much of this was really integral to this specific film, if you know what I mean.

And the “trying to find the great party” thing is pretty damn tired, especially when it turns to be, shockingly, just another party, albeit with famous people. (Imagine that!)

There are some nice touches, including the wife who is not a nag to her man-boy, and some of the stuff with Mr. Green works as a 21st century update on A Christmas Carol‘s theme of spiritual guidance at Christmas time.

But the film as a whole feels more like a collection of jokes strung together with a fairly generic “last night out before we’re married” plot with a Christmas makeover.


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