Rating 3/5 Stars
This may not be an ideal time for a review of a holiday film such as this one, but everyone enjoys a good Christmas story right? This one proves to become a classic in its own right. Written and directed by Jonathan Levine, who also brought Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt together for “50/50,” the film shows themes of family and friendship.
This film seems to begin slow but does a decent job in getting into the story. And although it seemed to me the pacing was slow at times, the overall story and characters involved my attention. I found it to be filled with warmth and just the right amount of humor.
In this film, Gordon-Levitt and Rogan are joined by Anthony Mackie and form the trio of best friends who have one final Christmas Eve bash together before they become more involved with their own lives. Isaac (Rogen), Chris (Mackie), and Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) have been best friends for years. Each year they celebrate the holidays together, but now their lives are starting to get in the way. Chris is a famous football star, Isaac is about to become a parent for the first time, and Ethan feels his life isn’t really going anywhere, his girlfriend (Lizzie Caplan) dumped him, and he’s working as an elf during the Christmas season.
Ethan manages to get his hands on tickets to a Christmas bash to end all Christmas bashes, thereby promising their final time together will be a blowout to remember. The trio rides around in a Red Bull limousine for the evening thanks to Chris. At the start of the evening, Isaac’s wife (Jillian Bell) gives him a gift – a variety pack of nearly every drug on the planet – and becomes stoned out of his mind. The film seems to hypothesize whether it’s possible for adults to maintain friendships when family and career seem to take priority.
Throughout the film, the three friends great together and perform their roles with humor and heart. All of the characters appear real and give much to the story, or at least as much as you can in a sort of screwball comedy such as this. Overall, the film is just plain fun and easily entertaining. The sentiments presented in the film are small and honest without doing too much or being too big.