Comedian Seth Rogen is no stranger to indiscriminately offending various religious and ethnic groups, as demonstrated by his controversial 2014 "The Interview." Now, he's found a new target for his jokes: Christians.
"[Y]ou can make fun of Christians, they're cool," the 33-year-old actor told Sydney Morning Herald during an interview about his latest film, "The Night Before," which he hopes will become a Christmas classic. "Christians have their own [expletive] to deal with, they're not worried about us. So on the scale of controversial waters one could possibly navigate, this movie was very low on that list, I would say. If anything, we may offend Jews because we made a Christmas movie."
According to the IMDB page for "The Night Before", the film tells the story of three lifelong friends (Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie) who spend the night in New York City looking for the "Holy Grail of Christmas parties."
While he has no problem poking fun at Christians, Rogen said he had no intentional of mocking Christmas with his latest film, claiming it was made in the spirit of traditional Christmas films.
"Our film is set at Christmas and carries a lot of the tropes and themes that Christmas movies do, but it doesn't set out to alienate people," he told the Herald. "One of our actual goals was to make a movie that would get played on television every year so you can't do that if you're mocking the holiday that you want to be played on."
As "The Night Before" is rated "R" due to its sexually explicit content, language, and nudity, it's unlikely many Christians will make viewing the film a part of their holiday traditions.
ChristianAnswers.net gave the film an "Extremely Offensive" rating, indicating it should be avoided by Christian viewers.
"There are jokes made about faith and religion, as one character is referred to as the 'Messiah,' a drug dealer is supposedly a guardian angel, and a Jewish character (completely high) yells out in a church 'We did not kill Jesus!' after he sees a crucifix. The same high character begins to have a 'conversation' with an inanimate shepherd in a Nativity scene," notes the review.
"'The Night Before' tries to capture Christmas spirit. But despite its positive themes of friendship, family, and loyalty, it is marred with way too much vulgar and obscene content."
Reads Focus on the Family's PluggedIn.com review, "Alas, bury Christmas is exactly what it ends up doing-in a litany of drugs, sex, obscenity and blasphemy...The story seems predicated on our three friends having one last wild night-on one of the holiest nights of the year-before officially 'growing up.' Sort of a bachelor party for bidding adieu to immaturity. But isn't that the same argument drug, alcohol and other addicts often use to excuse 'one last night' of inebriation? 'I'll do this one more time and then get clean,' they say. Until the next last time."