The remake, the reboot, the reimagining of films is becoming a far too popular trend these days in movies coming out of the Hollywood system. Not because they are bad, not by any means but a lot of them do end up as a little pointless. "About Last Night" is by no means a film without the occasional genuine laugh, but it truly doesn't broach any ground that hasn't been covered before.
A familiar story that is reinvented for the 21st century as we follow the adventure of new love for two couples (Kevin Hart/Regina Hall & Michael Ealy/Joy Bryant) as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually put to the test in the real world.
Based on the 1974 play by David Mamet; "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" and the 1986 film also called "About Last Night", this film with the exception of using African-American actors in the lead roles truly doesn't bring any new energy to the table as we see everything that has basically unfolded before and will unfold again. Director Steve Pink who is best known for "Hot Tub Time Machine" and its upcoming sequel sets us up for the proceedings reasonably well enough as the city of Los Angeles takes over for Chicago and we are introduced to our characters. While it establishes everything it needs to, so much of the film feels like it has been done before. It is the romantic comedy cinematic equivalent of comfort food or even junk food. We enjoy it but it does nothing to sustain us and while we may derive a little bit of pleasure from being in that moment, we usually regret it afterwards. The jokes were pretty standard and there truly isn't a single thing in the film that makes an effort to be even minutely different and as a whole the film actually leans on the charm and comedic timing of the two couples that we are following.
While Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant are positioned as the traditional couple story that we get behind as their story is told and they do a good enough job, but it is Kevin Hart and Regina Hall who are actually a little more interesting this time out. As so many portraits of relationships that get painted in Hollywood are just completely unrealistic and unnatural as they navigate various potholes of drama it was actually kind of refreshing to see Hart and Hall one up each other comedically while still developing some complex characters and performances. As they tear into one another in the cause of love, it was more than a little fun to watch and it made their story much more emotionally satisfying as I actually believed it much more then Ealy and Bryant who are forced to deal with the most cookie cutter of manufactured romantic drama.
Picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are top notch and the special features include four behind the scenes featurettes about the making of the film and the unique dynamic and difficulties in relationships between men and women.
"About Last Night" has an obvious audience that will lap up every single convention and cliché that gets thrown at the screen and there's nothing necessarily wrong with a little bit of low effort pap every once in a while, but it would have been nice to see a little more of the supporting players who just had a much more compelling relationship then the leads did.
3 out of 5 stars.
"About Last Night" is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, Digital Download and On Demand from all major retailers and providers.