The Night Before is set to drop this Friday, which is a bad sign if you're superstitious about your holiday themed movies dropping before Thanksgiving. If you're on board with this theory, then prepare to be challenged as the first NSFW three minutes of writer / director Jonathan Levine's wintry gift to the world are about to be unwrapped before your eyes.
MTV landed the exclusive clip, and while it's big on laughs, it also sets up the more emotional undercurrent of Joseph Gordon Levitt's backstory. We see that his character Ethan has lost his parents shortly before Christmas, which prompts his buddies Issac and Chris, played by Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie respectively, to start a new tradition. Of course, through the years, the tradition evolves into a quest to get into the most exclusive holiday celebration in all of New York – The Nutcracker's Ball.
With the bulk of the film centered on the last hurrah for the three friends, before they effectively shut down their annual merriment, this quest will either end in sweet victory or horrendous defeat. Considering that Jonathan Levine has previously worked with Rogen and Gordon-Levitt on the dramedy 50/50, we're expecting the more dramatic undercurrent of Ethan's mourning to be the meat of the film's bones. Though that doesn't mean that the trailers are misleading with their hilarious portrayal of the film's events.
Rather, Levine is the type of writer/director that warms the audience up with laughter, and slips them something more serious to think about. So while you'll probably be laughing your ass off during most of The Night Before, there's a good chance you'll shed some tears as well. Overall, the film will more than likely find that sweet spot between belly laughs and eye showers, which is good because if the film sided with either side too liberally, it would knock everything off balance.
Will The Night Before beat the pre-Thanksgiving odds that a holiday themed film usually butts heads up against? There's no way of telling for sure, but we'd say that the chances are good, as the talent involved is easily a huge draw for audiences who are either not interested or have already seen early showings of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 come this weekend. But above all else, the first three minutes of the film have sold us on lining up to see how the rest of the film pans out. With all of the hysterical moments scattered through the trailers, and the opening now freshly etched into our minds, The Night Before can't come soon enough.
Thankfully, The Night Before hits theaters this Friday, so that wait won't be too long.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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