Film to end your week

In the semi-recent history of Seth Rogen comedy classics, a few gems have slipped through the cracks of collective memory. “The Night Before” falls into that category, and it provides a charming, obscenity-laced story of friendship baked (get it?) into the holiday season.

After losing both his parents in a car accident, Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has spent every Christmas Eve of the past decade with his lifelong friends Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie). As their personal careers and families begin to get in the way, the three resolve to end the tradition with one final crazy night, as they search for the party to end all parties — the Nutcracker Ball.

Their quest to find this mythical rager includes hallucinogens at midnight mass, a magical marijuana dealer, and a cameo from Miley Cyrus. Along the way, the trio is forced to reckon with the challenges of growing up and maintaining their relationships in the face of their responsibilities. 

The film is a reunion for Gordon-Levitt and Rogen, who first collaborated in director Jonathan Levine’s “50/50.” Like several of Levine’s films, including “Long Shot” and “Warm Bodies,” “The Night Before” offers a similar blend of gross-out humor, funny goofs, and surprising emotional poignancy and resonance.

It may not quite be Thanksgiving yet, but it's never too early to get into the holiday spirit. Finish your week off with this festive flick.

Reach writer Ryan Phelan at arts@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @D_R_Phelan

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