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About Last Night (2014) - Review

About Last Night

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

STEVE Pink’s contemporary update of 80s classic About Last Night is another of those remakes that begs the question ‘why did they bother?’

What’s more, it’s the third film this year to be ruined by Kevin Hart, the motor-mouthed ‘comedian’ who is rapidly becoming the equivalent of cinema Marmite (in that you either love him or hate him).

Both versions of the film are adapted from David Mamet’s biting play Sexual Perversity in Chicago, but whereas Edward Zwick’s 80s version managed to be censor-baiting and provocative in it’s examination of sexual politics, not to mention heartfelt, Pink’s do-over appears to be going through the motions with the main story and is continually hijacked by Hart and co-star Regina Hall and their seemingly improvised wannabe stand-up routines.

Worse, a decision to nod to Zwick’s film by showing a brief clip and getting the two central characters to profess their love for it merely highlights the shortcomings here and is a cringe-worthy low-point.

The story essentially follows lovestruck couple Danny and Debbie (Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant, occupying the Rob Lowe and Demi Moore roles) as they meet, fornicate relentlessly and decide to try living together only to realise how difficult relationships can be.

Watching, judging and having sex with each other on the sidelines, meanwhile, are Hart’s Bernie and Hall’s Joan, who take dysfunction to new extremes.

The big problem with Pink’s movie is that it seems to ignore all of the elements that made Zwick’s original so compelling as well as funny and boundary pushing. There’s no real complexity in Ealy and Bryant’s relationship and virtually no chemistry either. The sex, meanwhile, is 15 certificate friendly. Quite simply, you won’t care whether this couple makes it!

That might be okay if you’re a fan of Hart, who seems to get the lion’s share of the film’s juiciest moments. But if you found him difficult to bare in Ride Along and Grudge Match, then his performance here is every bit as bad. And he’s no match for James Belushi, who took on the original role to such winning effect.

What’s left is a half-hearted movie that struggles to generate any heat whatsoever.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 96mins
UK Release Date: March 21, 2014