THE NIGHT BE­FORE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

Di­rec­tor: Jonathan Levine (50-50) Star­ring: Seth Ro­gen, An­thony Mackie, Joseph Gor­don-Le­vitt, Jil­lian Bell, Michael Shan­non, Ilana Glazer Ver­dict: Three less-than-wise men on a Christ­mas Eve of de­struc­tion

ONE day when we are all dead and gone, movie his­to­ri­ans will de­clare Seth Ro­gen to be the Daniel DayLewis of the stoner com­edy.

And they will be right to do so. Across a no­tably con­sis­tent ca­reer, Ro­gen has de­liv­ered strong and last­ingly laugh-wor­thy con­tact-highs to ad­dled au­di­ences every­where.

While The Night Be­fore does lit­tle more than at­tach many Christ­mas baubles to Ro­gen’s reg­u­lar weedwacked reper­toire, it de­liv­ers a heavy pay­load of goof-around gifts direct and on-time.

Ro­gen stars as Isaac, one of a trio of 30-some­thing bud­dies about to end a long tra­di­tion of Christ­mas Eve blow-outs now that their re­spec­tive real-life re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are fully kick­ing in.

Well, they are for Isaac, at least. He and wife Betsy (Jil­lian Bell) are about to have their first baby.

In giv­ing her bless­ing to Isaac’s last big night out, Betsy has kindly handed her part­ner a box con­tain­ing “ev­ery sin­gle drug in the world”.

As you do. And, of course, as you shouldn’t. In a mat­ter of hours, Isaac’s nose will be bleed­ing into some­one else’s mar­tini.

By that time, he and best buds Chris (a steroid-boosted sports star played by An­thony Mackie) and Ethan (a right­fully un­em­ployed mu­si­cian played by Joseph Gor­donLe­vitt) will be deep into a hazy odyssey in search of a fa­bled NYC Xmas party known as the Nutcracka Ball.

Nat­u­rally, there will be be­havioural blow­back com­ing the trio’s way for all their ho-ho-bro shenani­gans. As a re­sult, the film will go and get too darn cute and cud­dly for its own good very late in play. In the mean­time, how­ever, the sketchy chain of events linked up here churns up a lot of big, strong, stoo-pid laughs, in a Su­per­bad-meets-A-Very-Haroldand-Ku­mar-Christ­mas kind of way.

While the leads have the right reck­less chem­istry to en­sure The Night Be­fore racks up the right num­ber of guilty-plea­sure guf­faws, a packed sup­port cast (which in­cludes James Franco, Mindy Kal­ing, Michael Shan­non and Broad City’s bril­liant Ilana Glazer) also keep yarn in the right (wrong) di­rec­tions.

In one or two more sim­i­lar movies’ time, Ro­gen will be too old to get you to puff on this stuff any­more. So roll up and in­hale while you still can.

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