Movie Review: About Last Night (2014)

Published On March 4, 2014 » 1919 Views» By admin »

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4 stars

Third on my list for my Valentine’s Day releases was About Last Night. This movie was a remake of David Mamet’s 1974 stage play Sexual Perversity in Chicago and thank God, was one of the few romantic comedies that was tolerable this week.

The movie revolved around two couples. Danny (Michael Ealy) and Debbie (Joy Bryant) are the nice couple. They are just starting out a relationship and both are waiting for something to go wrong. Complicating matters is Bernie (Kevin Hart) and Joan (Regina Hall), a couple whose relationship is one long ‘hate-screw’. Unfortunately for Danny and Debbie, the craziness of Bernie and Joan starts to rub off and soon they’re questioning everything about their relationships.

The real standout in this movie was Kevin Hart, playing the loud mouthed confirmed bachelor Bernie, who gets some of the best lines of the movie. He makes the volatile relationship between him and Joan funny rather than sad, when it could have gone either way. Regina Hall had her own great moments herself, and was no pushover to Hart’s aggressive character.

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Ealy and Bryant, though they had obvious chemistry, felt one dimensional to me, as though the characters weren’t really fleshed out. I found it hard to believe that two people that good looking would have any trouble finding love. In order to make it believable, they should have given some kind of vulnerability to the characters.

The movie is light and fun, with no heavy back stories. Instead, it focuses on what it means to be in a relationship in a realistic, funny way. The movie focuses on one couple getting together as another falls apart. It shows the ‘choosing friends’ problems that come about when dating within groups. It is a realistic look at real relationships. There are no obvious romantic comedy clichés here. There’s no chasing someone down at an airport or meeting them at the Empire State Building at midnight. Instead, there is a realistic and frequently hilarious look at the stages of a relationship.

What really made this movie shine was the excellent screenplay, filled with snappy, intelligent dialog. The humor didn’t have to sink to being raunchy, because it was clever. For those who were dissatisfied with Hart’s most recent performance in “Ride Along’, “About Last Night” will more than make up for it.

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In a way, the lackluster performance of the two leads was ideal, as it allowed the real stars of this film, Kevin Hart and Regina Hall, to shine through. The two as a couple really steal the show.

The pacing of the movie was well done and the balance between the characters made the plot easy to follow. It’s not an extremely intricate plot, so it’s easy to follow already. In this remake, they stuck to the original simplicity of the play, which was why it worked.

Good direction, good actors and a great screenplay made this movie what it is. This newer remake is actually much better than the movie one made in the late 80s and it feels like this remake followed the original play a bit more closely.

Watch the official trailer:

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