Welcome to the eighties! Let The Night Before be your guide through this strange decade, just relax and take it easy. Starring young Keanu Reeves and ravishing Lori Loughlin (Full House), this is an incredibly immersive and charming comedy. It’s hard for me to describe with just how little effort this movie exerts to take you back into the eighties. So, if you’re feeling nostalgic it’s definitely the right choice. We follow a strapping young lad by the name of Winston who wakes up alone in an alley on a cold with a startling realization that he’s supposed to be on his prom.
What a glorious setup this is. I mean, The Hangover franchise cashed in on it some twenty years later. I saw this movie when I was much younger and still watch it from time to time. And I can tell you it stood the test of time. The Night Before should not be confused with the 2015 movie of the same title starring Seth Rogen. Unlike that formulaic mess, this is an engaging and above all fun comedy. We’re just as clueless as our homeboy Winston as to what’s going eagerly awaiting the next piece of the puzzle. Along the way, we will meet a host of sleazy and intriguing characters and get in a lot of crazy situations. A quintessential young guy living in the suburbs in the eighties walk on the wild side.
This movie brings to life all the myths of this era that I must leave for you to discover. All the things your parents washed your brain with will happen to this kid and he will get out of them using his courage and wits. Winston Connelly is in a lot of trouble. He just woke up in a dark alleyway in the middle of his prom night. He doesn’t know where his car is or where he is. And more importantly, he doesn’t know where his date is. Beautiful Tara Mitchell asked him to go to prom with her although his biggest achievement is the fact he’s the vice president of the Astronomy club. He needs to find out what’s going on fast or his problems will only get worse.
As a definition of a feel-good movie, The Night Before, as its title suggests takes place during one wild night. This helps immensely with the pacing and when you need a break, there’s always a good flashback scene. Keanu was great as the naive kid turning into a man but Lori stole the show here. She was not only smoking hot but also played her role magnificently. Directed by Thom Eberhardt, this is one of his best movies. And he worked on Night of the Comet, Without a Clue, and Captain Ron.
This is also where I was first introduced to the “one wild night” concept and fell in love with it. As luck would have it the next movie I saw was Dazed and Confused and I was hooked. To this day, this is one of my favorite subgenres. Finally, if you’re looking for similar but modern movies check out Go, Harold & Kumar, The Binge and Superbad. And I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention The Stoned Age from 1994. Enjoy.
Director: Thom Eberhardt
Writers: Thom Eberhardt, Gregory Scherick
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lori Loughlin, Theresa Saldana, Trinidad Silva, Suzanne Snyder, Tom ‘Tiny’ Lister, Alan Toy
Fun Facts: Dylan McDermott auditioned for the role of Winston Connell