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Night Before, The


Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Michael Shannon, Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell, Mindy Kaling, Lorraine Toussaint, Miley Cyrus, James Franco

Director: Jonathan Levine

Here's the first turkey of the December holiday. This witless and mean-spirited farrago is the antithesis of the traditional Christmas movie; writer-director Levine's seasonal present to us all is a torrent of foul language and 'outrageous' sex banter about those tired ol' vaginas and penises, delivered by a plainly-slumming Gordon-Levitt, a wallowing-in-it Rogen and an out-of-it Mackie, as they 'enjoy' sex, vomiting and several nosefuls of drugs. Yes, everything we love about the festive season.

For failed writer Ethan (Gordon-Levitt), lawyer Isaac (Rogen) and on-steroids sports star Chris (Mackie), it's the 14th and last of their annual kick-over-the-traces Christmas Eve debaucheries, as they search for a legendary party, for which Ethan has 'acquired' three tickets.

With Isaac getting more and more out of his head on the cache of drugs his pregnant wife (Bell) has given him as a party gift (?really), Ethan getting beaten up by two irreverent Santas (bringing back memories of the similarly mean-spirited but much superior Bad Santa) while searching for a lost love (Caplan) and Chris hunting for weed from the mysterious Mr Green (Shannon) to impress his fellow pros, the trio slides further and further into degradation and despair.

Despite (over-) enthusiastic guest shots from Cyrus and Franco, this really is alienating stuff. Still, if you're the sort to cackle at the mere utterance of a four-letter word, as the couple next to me certainly were, this still might be your holiday treat.

And at least it'll benefit Red Bull, whose product is heavily plugged throughout.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
100 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 30 Nov 2015