It takes hundreds of people to make a movie, but just two talents, actor Seth Rogen and writer Evan Goldberg, define the Christmas Eve-set romp “The Night Before.”

Rogen and Goldberg’s comic résumé sets “The Night Before” scene. You know the duo’s crass work in such hits as “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express,” “This Is the End,” and last year’s overhyped snore “The Interview.”

Rogen and Goldberg’s latest drug-spiked gift to moviegoers shines a holiday spotlight on the scene-swiping Rogen. Playing a guy in his early 30s who goes on the town with two of his childhood friends on Christmas Eve, Rogen climbs to gonzo comedy heights.

Rogen stars as Isaac, a friend of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Ethan and Anthony Mackie’s Chris. Gordon-Levitt and Mackie largely play straight men to Rogen’s perspiring, panicking mess on a hedonistic mission in New York City.

The Christmas Eve that Isaac, Chris and Ethan spend together is meant to be a last hurrah. Isaac, the least likely of these three to achieve adult responsibility, is a married man and soon-to-be father. So the guys all agree that this is the end of their annual Christmas Eve party marathon. They’re determined to make the most of it.

“The Night Before” script etches the movie’s back story and scenario like a postcard. A scene that reveals the Gordon-Levitt character’s tragic past serves as a prelude, but it comes off as more a story-launching formality than something genuinely poignant.

Once the Christmas Eve action is set in motion, predictable high jinks and misadventures appear inevitable. But leave it to Rogen and co-conspirator Goldberg to push the limits of comedy and taste. They elevate “The Night Before” to a night to remember, not that Isaac will remember any of it.

Isaac and his friends are the movie’s principal characters, but writer-director Jonathan Levine (“50/50”) and screenwriters Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir and Goldberg are wise enough to write worthy supporting characters.

Comic actress Jillian Bell (“22 Jump Street,” “Goosebumps”) co-stars as Betsy, Isaac’s understanding-to-the-point-of-saintliness spouse. Bell delightfully plays off Rogen’s madness in some of the more outrageous scenes. Lorraine Toussaint, as Chris’ tell-it-like-is mom, generates laughs of her own.

Michael Shannon co-stars as the movie’s most important supporting player, Mr. Green. A marijuana-smoking and dealing high school teacher, Mr. Green has a reunion with his former students and clients Isaac, Chris and Ethan. In clouds of pot smoke, Shannon’s dryly intoned, hippie-esque mysticism adds holiday magic to evening.

“The Night Before” successfully transplants the Rogen-Goldberg comedy formula to the holiday movie tradition.

It’s not everyone’s cup of hot chocolate, but definitely good for sizeable laughs.