The Night Before

Writer-director Jonathan Levine has made a name for himself as a filmmaker on the verge and the edge, tiptoeing the dividing line between comedy and drama that have sought to fully earn the hybrid dramedy label for the millennial set.

click to enlarge Anthony Mackie, Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 'The Night Before'
Anthony Mackie, Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 'The Night Before'

Writer-director Jonathan Levine has made a name for himself as a filmmaker on the verge and the edge (borrowing a pair of clichés), tiptoeing the dividing line between comedy and drama (with films like The Wackness and 50/50) that have sought to fully earn the hybrid dramedy label for the millennial set. With The Night Before, he forgoes that kind of equal marriage of tones, focusing instead on the comedic potential within the idea of a trio of friends (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie) on the hunt for the party of parties during the Christmas season, while also transitioning into more adult demands and relationships. This Night isn’t very silent, thanks to a cache of drugs, a gaggle of celebrity cameos and infighting among the fellas, but the good-natured buzz is definitely mellow. (Opens wide Friday) (R) Grade: B-

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