About Last NightCultureCinemaMovie reviews
80s aficionados will remember the Rob Lowe and Demi Moore vehicle, About Last Night…, based on David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago. The Brat Pack rom-com was a box office smash, despite its muted interpretation of Mamet’s original tone. Thankfully, director Steve Pink’s remake captures the playwright’s raunchier attitude and even takes it up a notch with a somewhat lewd script.
Chicago is cast aside for Los Angeles and the plot no longer traces the exploits of a lone couple falling in love in the face of disapproval from their friends: About Last Night has now lost its ellipsis and gained an extra romance. Danny and Debbie (Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant) are set up by their respective best friends Bernie (Kevin Hart) and Joan (Regina Hall). The latter have launched themselves into a napalm attack of a relationship – explosive, fiery, vivid and forceful. Danny and Debbie are far more restrained, developing a subtle, endearing love that evolves from sex into loyalty and commitment.
Watching any on-screen relationship unfold through a confusion of mixed signals, over-active hormones, crossed-wires, ego and self-doubt is expectedly heart-warming and cringe-worthy. Throw in the expressive reactions of a stand-up comic like Hart, and the punchy sass of co-star Hall, and it suddenly evolves into a highly entertaining, hilarious battle of the sexes. The duo forms an outstanding double act, delivering cutting retorts with lightning speed and enough chemistry to blow up a continent.
Their love/hate relationship is the highlight of the movie, and the only source of humour to raise a belly laugh. Yet, Ealy and Bryant are both excellent in their portrayal of more conventional characters, less exaggerated and realistically vulnerable. The balance between the two pairings creates a compelling dynamic that makes this movie far more enjoyable than expected.
Of course, you know what they say about the path of true love, and About Last Night offers a realistic look at the gargantuan pot holes tripping even the most perfect of couples. A relatable portrait of modern-day lovers and singles, the film’s recognisable characters and obstacles will leave every member of match.com fist punching the air in approval and cheering with undiluted joy.
About Last Night is released nationwide on 21st March 2014.
Watch the trailer for About Last Night here: