Movie Review

About Last Night – Movie Review

aboutlastnight_3

About Last Night Review by Frances Winston

Directed by: Steve Pink Starring: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Christopher McDonald, Adam Rodríguez, Joe Lo Truglio, Paula Patton

In cinemas March 21st

When David Mamet wrote his play Sexual Perversity in Chicago it is unlikely he thought that it would spawn not one but two movie versions. However, almost thirty years after Demi Moore and Rob Lowe graced the screens in About Last Night, which was based on the aforementioned play, comes a loose remake of that classic. The original featured great performances from the two leads (as well as from James Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins in supporting roles) so one must wonder why they felt the need to tamper with it.

This is a rom-com pure and simple. It is not high-concept art and they are not reinventing the wheel. It takes the viewer on a journey through the pitfalls of relationships when the first flush of passion wears off and what usually makes a movie like this work is a solid script with good performances and chemistry from the leads. In putting their own stamp on it, the producers have taken the original setting of Chicago and moved it to LA and employed a predominately black cast. They have also added more humour to the mix and contemporised the characters.

This film predominately deals with the relationship between Danny and Debbie (Ealy and Bryant) whose one night stand develops into something more before falling apart. Ealy and Bryant have a great chemistry together and it was interesting that writers retained some of their original lines of dialogue from the 1986 flick in some of their scenes.

Hart is best known for his slapstick comic turns so I thought he was an odd choice for this more sedate script. However, it seems that when he tones down his usually hyper performance style he is actually rather watchable in the role of Bernie (played by Belushi in the original). He too has good chemistry with Ealy who plays his best friend and the pair’s scenes together are snappy and engaging.

The character that is altered the most for this version is Debbie’s friend Joan (Hall) who was played by Perkins in the original. Perkin’s ‘Joan’ was caustic and not always likeable whereas here she is funny and engaging and truer to the way Mamet wrote the character originally.

The script manages to balance that delicate line between romance and comedy and veers just the right side of schmaltz. The cast are engaging and the pacing is snappy ensuring that the viewer never gets bored. This doesn’t really bring anything new to the table and was probably an unnecessary remake but it turns out to be watchable and entertaining and at under two hours long it knows when to bow out gracefully.

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