view counter

About Last Night

Friends don’t let friends date poorly

Sparks fly for Danny (Michael Ealy) and Debbie (Joy Bryant) when the two are set up by friends. <<© Screen Gems>>

Debbie (Joy Bryant: Parenthood) and Danny (Michael Ealy: Almost Human) aren’t much for relationships. When they are brought to a bar by their friends Joan (Regina Hall: The Best Man Holiday) and Bernie (Kevin Hart: Ride Along), who have had a one-night stand, both believe they are along for moral support. In fact, Bernie and Joan are playing matchmaker to set up their best friends.
    Sparks fly for Debbie and Danny, whose physical pairing blossoms into romance. As Debbie and Danny take a chance on love, Bernie and Joan implode spectacularly. With their support system gone, Danny and Debbie must navigate their relationship alone while their friends decry love.
    Settling into life together, Danny and Debbie encounter a new challenge: routine. Quibbles turn into major arguments, romantic dinners are perfunctory and both wonder what happened to their sexy romance.
    Can Danny and Debbie reignite the spark? Must love flat line?
    Based on the 1980s’ romantic comedy, About Last Night is a rare remake that surpasses the original. Considering how abysmal the original Rob Lowe/Demi Moore film was, this is rather damning praise. The remake features the same silly plotting as its predecessor, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in execution.
    Director Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel with this romantic comedy. Instead he hones the genre’s clichés. Ealy and Bryant are beautiful people with great chemistry, so Pink makes their problems believable but not insurmountable. Debbie is persnickety and passive aggressive; Danny is childish and thoughtless. Both are at fault, but neither is the villain.
    Pink also beefs up the roles of Debbie and Danny’s perpetually feuding friends, Joan and Bernie. Hart and Hall are both experienced scene-stealers; together, their comic presence threatens to eclipse the stars. Their dynamic duo earns most of the laughs and offers a more entertaining chemistry.
    Hall walks a fine line between deranged and hilarious, making her character both volatile and endearing. She’s the perfect match for Hart, who’s loud and sarcastic as they spar. The movie’s biggest flaw may be that the audience cares more for Bernie and Joan’s romantic fate than for Danny and Debbie’s.
    Pink also chooses to go bold with comedy. The movie earned an R rating, so be prepared for lots of curses and sex. There aren’t many bon mots in About Last Night, but there are plenty of crude laughs that had my audience in hysterics. Pink’s gamble allows Hall and Hart to let loose with some outrageously funny sequences; But if you’re uncomfortable with frank sex talk and a few scenes of compromising acts, you won’t find humor in this film.
    Think twice before you buy a ticket for anyone under the age of 15 or over 60.

Good Romantic Comedy • R • 100 mins.