By Anthony Breznican
November 20, 2015 at 08:03 PM EST
Sarah Shatz
  • Movie

Gather ’round, readers, it’s snuggle up time. For a new film opening today, should be described only in rhyme…

At a certain point, Santa has made his list (and checked it twice).

You’ve either been tallied naughty or nice.

So after being good all day with brothers, sisters, mom and dad,

why not venture out to be a little bad?

That’s the premise of The Night Before,

about three guys who aren’t just friends —

they’re something more.

“The holidays are about family for the most part, and coming home,”

says star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also used to roam.

“What I remember is going out and finding your old friends on that night — and reconnecting.”

A lot can happen when the nice-listers are home, asleep, and unsuspecting.

The film, which is directed by 50/50’s Jonathan Levine,

knows there’s a difference between being naughty and mean.

It also stars Michael Shannon. “He plays a guy named Mr. Green.”

So says the filmmaker, who describes the character as no fool.

“He’s the guy who used to sell weed to these guys when they were in high school.”

Levine says Mr. Green does more than cloud heads and alleviate strife:

“He kind of is, to our movie, what Clarence is to It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie make up the other two friends,

and the night spirals further than either intends.

They indulge drugs, drink, and all things desirous –

and even encounter the real Miley Cyrus!

There’s an emotional part too, though you may not expect that.

Levine says they made sure to respect it:

“The holidays are a wonderful time, but they’re also reflective and bittersweet.”

Though at Christmas, sad emotions should take a back seat.

Levine says the film doesn’t dwell on things that are crappy:

“Our number one goal was to make people laugh and smile —

and be happy.”

For more film news, follow @Breznican

2015 movie
  • Movie
  • R
  • 101 minutes
Complete Coverage