About Last NightThursday 20 Mar 2014
Director: Steve Pink
Starring: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant
Duration: 100 minutes
We need to talk about Kevin.
As he showed in the disappointing Ride Along, Kevin Hart has real comic timing and can fire off a one-liner like the very best of them. But the man really needs to think more of his talent and find better scripts. Or write more of his own. This remake of the Rob Lowe and Demi Moore-starring Eighties favourite is short on imagination, big on clichéd crudity and leaves you pining for the retro charm of the original movie (which itself was adapted from David Mamet's play Sexual Perversity in Chicago). However, compared to recent rom-com That Awkward Moment it's great.
Back in 1986, Jim Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins played Bernie and Joan, the long-suffering best pals to newly-hooked-up Danny (Lowe) and Debbie (Moore). In this version, it's Bernie (Hart) and Joan (Hall) who get together first - Danny (Ealy) becoming an item with Debbie (Bryant) afterwards. Over the course of a year we follow the quartet getting hot under the collar and cold feet as they try to figure out what they really want from a relationship - and how much they can adapt to another person.
Classic though it is, opening your film with James Brown's Sex Machine does not promise Wes Anderson-like levels of originality thereafter. Sure enough, About Last Night plays pretty much to type, the chemistry of Hart and Hall saving proceedings from disaster time and time again. The relationship between Ealy and Bryant's characters isn't as interesting, leaving you to wonder if the film would've been more effective if the stars swapped their roles. Hart and Hall as the sensitive types? There had to be some good comedy there.
Like many a situation, with the right company this may seem like a good idea. But you'll regret it the next day.