It’s difficult to dislike anything – TV, film, commercial – in which actor Michael Ealy appears. Currently co-starring in the Fox Network’s sci-fi buddy cop series Almost Human, he possesses the kind of warm, receptive eyes that allows him to peer into an individual’s soul.
Never mind that he owns acting chops that foreshadow a very promising career. Ealy stars along with Kevin Hart, Joy Bryant and Regina Hall in a remake of the Rob Lowe-Demi Moore 1980s era film About Last Night. The movie opens Valentine's Day (Feb. 14).
With him, the casting wasn’t off; he’s perfect for the role of Danny Martin, a restaurant supplies salesman still lingering in life looking for his place.
When his boy Bernie (Hart) and Bernie’s girlfriend Joan (Hall) sets him up on a blind date with Debbie (Bryant), it looks as if he’s beginning to find his way.
What starts as a night of fun evolves into a friends-with-bennies situation to full-blown live-in relationship. Everything is cool to start, but like marriage, things start to get old.
Friends with bennies? That’s easy. No strings. No guilt. You go your way and I go my way. Relationships? They require work, the melding of wants, desires and personalities and perhaps, Danny isn’t quite ready for it.
It doesn’t help that Bernie and Joan represent the poster couple for bad relationships. They’re rude, crude and barely socially acceptable and they rub off on the new couple.
Hart does a tremendous job of adding his original flourishes to a character that Jim Belushi brought to vivid form in the original, but that’s not going to make this one worth a recommendation, nor does Ealy’s presence.
Ealy is the type of actor who deserves a breakout role. Unfortunately, despite the fact that he contributes to making About Last Night tolerable, this isn’t it.
The primary problem: he and Bryant have little in the way of chemistry and she often comes across as being miscast.
Director Steve Pink (director of Hot Tub Time Machine) continues to show his love of all things ‘80s in this remake of a Brat Pack film. Unfortunately, his version of just doesn’t have the romance, nor do the couplings make sense.
But there is Michael Ealy to enjoy.
Movie: About Last Night
Director: Steve Pink
Cast: Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart, Joy Bryant and Regina Hall
Studio: Screen Gems
Rated: R for sexual content, language and brief drug use.
Running time: 100 minutes
George’s rating: 2.5-of-5 stars
Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, Cleveland Cinemas, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com