You Won’t Forget ‘The Night Before’

2ee8nrcThis past April, Lionsgate released a new series of DVDs entitled, “The Lost Collection.” In the series are films that are finally being released on DVD, including “Slaughter High,” “Homer and Eddie” and “Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home.”

And of course, “The Night Before.”

“The Night Before” is a hysterical, laugh-out load romp that tries to piece together one crazy night of mayhem.

Winston Connelly (Keanu Reeves, “My Own Private Idaho”) is a high school loser that managed to score one of the hottest dates for the prom.

Sadly, his date Tara Mitchell (Lori Loughlin, “Full House”) is only going with him because she lost a bet, effectively being forced to go to the prom with someone she typically wouldn’t be caught dead with.

Poor Connelly genuinely wanted to treat it like the dream date he always wanted. However, one long detour in the wrong direction lands him and Mitchell on the wrong side of the tracks. Throw in one crazy drug filled cocktail served by a mean-spirited bartender and Connolly is left groggy and lost in the middle of a bad neighborhood. If that wasn’t enough, he also soon discovers that he accidentally sold his prom date to a pimp named Tito.

Now how’s that for a prom night?

“The Night Before” derives the humor much in the same vein as “After Hours.” One man’s comical misadventure is what draws us into the story and the simple variation is that it is intended for the teenage audience.

Thom Eberhardt (“Sole Survivor”) directs with a lot of flair, allowing us to partake and enjoy this teenage story. As a matter of fact, it’s Eberhardt’s handling of the loveable main character is one of the main reasons it works so well.

Reeves turns in a raw energetic early performance that has been missing from some of his recent films. Sadly, he seems to be slumming it in more recent fare and “The Night Before” is a great reminder of a different era in his acting abilities.

The adorable Loughlin also turns in a great performance. At first, you want to hate this snobby rich girl, but as the night progresses, you see this cute, vulnerable side of her that allows you to fall in love with her.
Much like Connelly does.

Pure fun from start to finish, especially since story is not told in order and the use of flashbacks enhances its telling, the film allows the night to flow and its mystery to unravel, while allowing the audience to never lose sight of the enjoyment, creating a well-crafted teenage love story.

How many times can you say that?

As far as the DVD features are concerned, Lionsgate provides a full screen version of the movie, which is fine because most fans grew up watching this picture on television anyway. They also provide a useless trivia track to be played with the flick that doesn’t do much of anything. The information is some history trivia and facts you can find on IMDB, such as earlier credits of its cast members. However, when it’s all said and done, all that matters is that this flick is finally on DVD.

All in all, “The Night Before” is a fun joyride to the wrong side of the tracks that is the simplest and most enjoyable form of entertainment.

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I have always had a tremendous passion for the cinema. For me, movies provide a great escape. When done right, the characters and stories are something that I am instantly drawn into. Over the years, I’ve unintentionally become a movie encyclopedia that I often find myself the recipient of late night phone calls from my friends while at Blockbuster [One such conversation between the Editor of this site and the film “Redbelt” immediately comes to mind.] As far as my preferences go however, I love both the cult cinema and the classics. My love of film ranges from features such as “Amadeus” to “Sorority Babes in the Slime Ball Bowl-A- Rama.” I have a long range of film heroes as well that include, Michael J. Fox, Lloyd Kaufman, Robby Benson, Michael Caine and Jeff Bridges. On this site, I hope to teach people about cult cinema and have them rent films that they normally would not, turning you into the monster that I have become. Someday, I hope to be the star and director of my cult film, employing the old stop motion techniques used in films like “Flesh Gordon.”

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I have always had a tremendous passion for the cinema. For me, movies provide a great escape. When done right, the characters and stories are something that I am instantly drawn into. Over the years, I’ve unintentionally become a movie encyclopedia that I often find myself the recipient of late night phone calls from my friends while at Blockbuster [One such conversation between the Editor of this site and the film “Redbelt” immediately comes to mind.] As far as my preferences go however, I love both the cult cinema and the classics. My love of film ranges from features such as “Amadeus” to “Sorority Babes in the Slime Ball Bowl-A- Rama.” I have a long range of film heroes as well that include, Michael J. Fox, Lloyd Kaufman, Robby Benson, Michael Caine and Jeff Bridges. On this site, I hope to teach people about cult cinema and have them rent films that they normally would not, turning you into the monster that I have become. Someday, I hope to be the star and director of my cult film, employing the old stop motion techniques used in films like “Flesh Gordon.”

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