"About Last Night" Review: Craig's First Take
on 2014-02-18 10:42
It’s early but one of the few things we can already take from Movies 2014 is that Kevin Hart is here to stay; he’s funny, personable, and most importantly of all- “Ride Along” must have helped quite a few Universal executives bankroll their new Lexus’. But “About Last Night” is unfortunately another “love the playa, hate the game” type of situation for Hart, who along with “Almost Human’s” Michael Ealy (charming, and also a star in the making), Joy Bryant, and Regina Hall are wasted in a generic updating of some Demi Moore/Rob Lowe comedy from the 80’s.
Hart and Ealy play best friends and business partners Bernie and Dan while Hall and Bryant are friends and roommates Joan and Debbie. Bernie and Joan meet and are the fun-loving wild-couple here. Their homebody friends are dragged along on a date where they strike up a romance.
Playwright and screenwriter Leslye Headland, who is not only adapting from the Moore/Lowe film but also from the great writer David Mamet’s play, has the two homebodies settling down a lot faster but that basically means there’s more room for fighting (about everything from quitting the job one hates, wanting to hang out with friends, getting a dog and relationship boredom). The way the Ealy and Bryant characters are written, they hardly ever seem like they’re made for one another and more like two people being put through a romance version of “The Perfect Storm”. The sitcom-style laughs don’t help much either.
Hart and Hall meanwhile are meant for each other eventually, but that’s not before they break-up, keep meeting and fighting with each other only to realize the inevitable. There are a few good scenes here where each is made to look at the life they lead- how a fear of committing to something serious may have cost them something special- but a better movie would have had them grow more as people, not just redundantly and eventually learn that they were having too much fun together to quit.
The cast is very good across the board and should have been given better material. Hart is given the best comedy (the way he breaks up with Joan is very funny, as is a gag about his Halloween costume) and Ealy, Bryant, and Hall give each scene their all but the movie is only sporadically funny and seems to want to hit on every pothole involved with romance that after a while the whole thing just seems like a bunch of dramatizations about how not to communicate with your significant other. With the talent involved here, it could have been so much more.