I was quite taken by Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 when it came out. The 2011 cancer dramedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, who also produced, was funny, touching, sweet, honest, heart-felt and brave in ways most movies aren’t today, let alone the rest of Rogen’s raunchy filmography. The movie landed on my top ten list that year and, though I haven’t revisited it, the found memories keep reminding me to do so one of these days, even though I’m fully aware of the emotional roller coaster ahead.
I’m even more inclined to see it a second time, however, because the latest from Levine, Rogen and Levitt doesn’t quite look as promising as I would have hoped with the first red-band trailer for their reunion project, The Night Before. I should note the upcoming holiday-themed comedy doesn’t necessarily look bad, it just doesn’t look it’ll be as heartfelt, memorable or impressionable as their last film. The comedy, which also stars Anthony Mackie, finds three life-long friends reuniting during the festive December season for one final get together proposed by Levitt’s character when their one friend (Mackie) is “too fucking famous to hang out with us anymore” and the other (Rogen) is becoming a father. They come in possession of drugs (this is a Rogen comedy, after all), get into some trouble, drink some beer and also meet Lizzy Caplan and Mindy Kaling in the process as the merits of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” are sung.
There’s nothing wrong with having an adult R-rated comedy for the big end-of-the-year holiday season to combat family favorites like A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas did a couple years ago to okay-ish results. I guess I just expected something a little heavier, thematically. But that’s my fault. All things considered, it does appear as though the emotional wrought moments packed inside this package are being hidden until the film’s unveiled. I guess kids these days care more about the f-bombs and the druggie jokes than the quality buddy time moments, but there’s serious potential for this to balance the immature and the coming-into-adult found in Rogen’s Superbad but with 30-year-olds and the Jewish/Christmas/Kwanzaa spirit in toe.
This’ll have to be determined, though, on November 25 … unless this somehow gets The Interview treatment. That is something, by the way, they self-depreciate with in this promo. In the meantime, check out the restricted trailer below and see what you think. Despite the pessimistic attitude, I’m still very excited. I’m a Rogen fan, and I’m always happy to support him, especially when he brings good tidings.