Exploring the art of storytelling.
“The Night Before” is just another comedy about a trio of guy best friends getting into shenanigans. It adds to the long list of movies which includes “The Hangover” and “Horrible Bosses.” Unfortunately, “The Night Before” is one movie that will get lost in the masses. It’s forgettable.
The characters’ main goal in “The Night Before” was to make it to the mysterious Nutcracker Ball. This party was definitely worth all the chaos to get there. The Nutcracker Ball looked like an awesome party. The best part was the fact that the party-goers had to ride a small train down a hallway of lights to make it to the party. The Nutcracker Ball was definitely filled with Christmas magic.
Keeping true to the Christmas genre, throughout the film, the characters referenced Christmas classics. For example, Mr. Green spoke of Christmas present, past, and future, referencing “A Christmas Carol.” Along with that, Chris Roberts’ “crazy fan,” Rebecca, claimed to be the Grinch. The most referenced Christmas movie was probably “Home Alone.” Isaac did Macaulay Culkin’s iconic scream. Rebecca stole money using the methods of sticky bandit, Marv, and she threw legos on the ground to stop her pursuers. I appreciated all these details in “The Night Before.”
The best part of “The Night Before” was that Tracy Morgan was the narrator. It filled me with joy to see him back in action. It truly was a Christmas miracle.
The character development in “The Night Before” was very poor. It wasn’t complete. We were told everything instead of shown it. Towards the beginning of the film, Isaac kept being complimented for how well he was handling his wife’s pregnancy, but apparently, it was all just a cover. Deep down, he was freaking out. In “The Night Before,” we never really saw Isaac with composure. I would have liked to have seen Isaac before he started freaking out so we could’ve have seen this change in character. We also never learned why Isaac hid these feelings in the first place.
Ethan was another character harboring a lot of emotions. Fourteen years prior, Ethan’s parents passed away. Since then, he’d been rather unsuccessful. He wanted to be a musician, yet he never gave himself the chance to have his music heard. He also craved for his ex-girlfriend. Ethan had so many issues. It was difficult to get inside his head and figure out exactly what he was thinking. I wish we were able to see Ethan before his parents died and during his relationship with Diana so that we could’ve seen how these poignant aspects of his life changed him. Then, I would have better understood Ethan’s emotional state, and it would have been easier to empathize with his friends. In the end, Ethan got back together with Diana, but we never found out if anything else was resolved. Did he ever start his music career? Has he finally come to terms with his parents’ deaths?
I had to make way too many assumptions about these characters. We were given information, but not substance so it was difficult for me to believe their emotional development. Why was Isaac afraid of fatherhood? Why did Ethan love Diana?
Ethan’s love story with Diana was just odd. Apparently, they dated for two years, but they ended their relationship because Ethan refused to meet Diana’s parents. However, both of them still yearned for each other. On Christmas Eve night, Ethan saw Diana for the first time in months and proposed to her. Naturally, she refused, but by the end, the two were back together again as if nothing ever happened. No woman would change her mind that quickly. What did she specifically like about Ethan? What attracted her to him? This “love story” was definitely a man’s fantasy.
“The Night Before” wanted to be too many things at once. At it’s core, it was a comedy, but it also had dramatic elements. The creators wanted it to not only be funny, but heartfelt. Unfortunately, “The Night Before” fell short on everything. It just couldn’t find it’s footing.
“The Night Before” was definitely written for 20-year-old men. It is exactly what you’d expect from a silly comedy about a wild group of friends. It definitely makes you laugh. But unfortunately, it’s not memorable enough to become a comedy classic, let alone a Christmas classic.