Review: About Last Night
Considering the fact that the other two romances released this weekend, Endless Love and Winter’s Tale, are awful, this film is the perfect choice. While About Last Night is by no means a great film, it is surely better than anything else we’re being offered.
A remake of the 1986 film of the same name, and loosely based off David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago, About Last Night takes us to present-day Los Angeles to tell the story of modern relationships through two very different couples.
The film opens on a date between Bernie (Kevin Hart) and Joan (Regina Hall), who, despite strong reluctance and protestations, have respectively dragged along their friends Danny (Michael Ealy) and Debbie (Joy Bryant). When Bernie and Joan leave the two alone to go have sex in the bathroom – which is what the two always seem to be doing when not screaming at each other – Danny and Debbie are left alone to entertain each other. Accepting that Bernie and Joan aren’t going to return one thing leads to another and after walking her home, Danny sleeps with Debbie. Following what initially began as a one-night-stand, Danny and Debbie’s relationship begins to blossom, while Bernie and Joan continue to have sex and yell at each other.
The main reason About Last Night actually works as both a romance and a comedy is because it gives us two very different views of what relationship are and how they work. On one side, Bernie and Joan show us a relationship consisting entirely of drinking, arguing, and fornicating. Joan and Bernie really are the “comedy” in this rom-com. Regina Hall can really hold her own against Kevin Hart, who until now has always been the loudest, fastest, highest pitched, comedian in the room (I’m sure Chris Tucker wants his job back). Bickering between the two manages to be entertaining, rather than obnoxious, and ranges from topics including which sex position they will be practicing, to the plaque on Bernie’s teeth (clearly one of the downsides of sleeping with a dental hygienist).
On the other side of the spectrum, Danny and Debbie give us the romance. Their side of the story shows us how investing oneself in an actual relationship can be much more taxing than the sexual charade being orchestrated by their best friends. Danny and Debbie’s story is very honest, and at times even touching. It brings to the table the question of whether all the compromising and pressure is really worth it at the end of the day.
About Last Night is the perfect example of why honest romance films can never really work in a PG-13 rated film because there is really nothing PG-13 about love. Steve Pink’s film is a refreshing, original take on the romantic comedy, and is surely the only choice you can make when selecting what film to see this Valentines Day weekend.