Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Rated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use
Now playing at Century 20 Oakridge Mall in San Jose, California:
Remade from a 1986 comedy I never saw (which itself was adapted from the David Mamet play, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”) “About Last Night” is the third theatrical release to star “comedian” Kevin Hart in only two months. I’ll give you a minute to let that soak in.
Hart brings his “poor man’s Chris Tucker” element to the table, which honestly is funny at times, but director Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) and writer Leslye Headland (Bachelorette) give him little to work with. So, even though every character in this movie engages in quick banter and the chemistry between everyone involved is pretty convincing, “About Last Night” wasn’t nearly as funny or as clever as it needed to be. From a plot focusing on a couple (Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant) moving in which each other for the first time and then crazy relationship-type misunderstandings ensue, to the director’s choice in soundtrack which doesn’t hesitate to let the audience know how to feel during every moment, everything about this movies screams “cliché”.
Now allow me to explain why many may actually enjoy this movie, even though I gave it a poor rating. “About Last Night” is a throwback movie, with the term “throwback” referring to a film made in a style which big studios don’t seem to be producing as much as they used to (an “homage” if you will). In this case, I am talking about a throwback to those second tier black comedies of the late 90’s, early 2000’s; a la “The Brothers”, “The Wood”, “The Best Man”, “Two Can Play That Game”, etc. There is a nostalgia factor ingrained in those of a certain age who will claim that these were good movies. They were not. They were mediocre African American sex comedies with ultra simplistic plots, but which served a purpose as the “answer” to every Sandra Bullock romantic comedy of that same era. The problem with throwback movies is that during their theatrical release they are always looked upon with kinder eyes, despite the quality of the product. But history was not kind to movies of this particular genre, and will not be kind to “About Last Night”. I’m not going to deny that it was nostalgic for me to see this kind of comedy, but this reviewer won’t make the mistake of confusing “nostalgia” for “a good movie”.
Final Thought: “About Last Night” is one that will soon be forgotten. It may receive more than a few laughs in the upcoming weeks by those who don’t know better, but like I said before, history will not be kind to this below average comedy. In saying that, we must now all acknowledge that there is a larger issue at hand; an elephant in the room, one might say. That being, Kevin Hart has suddenly become a hot commodity, slated to star in two more movies this year! And I can already see the loud and obnoxious writing on the wall.
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