Directed by: Steve Pink
Originally adapted from the David Mamet play Sexual Perversity in Chicago, and a remake of the 1986 eponymous Rob Lowe/Demi Moore film, this version moves the action to LA, and adds a new, wilder, comedic layer to the film as it is re-written to accommodate Hart’s rapid-fire patter. This modern-day reimagining of the classic romantic comedy, offers us a contemporary new version that closely follows new love interests for a pair of couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually required to put their attraction to the test in the real world.
Ostensibly following Bernie (Hart) and Joan (Hall) as they meet and work their way through a tumultuous relationship that revolves mostly around sex, the film also focuses on their friends, Danny (Ealy) and Debbie (Bryant) who also hook up, but (seem to) have a more personal, romantic relationship than do their friends. To be sure, this film actually seems to spend as much, if not more time on Danny and Debbie than Bernie and Joan than did the ’86 film.
One of the objections that we have always had about remakes, is why would someone choose to remake a great, classic, or iconic film? Seriously, how could you possibly make a film like that better, why not pick a “bad” or mediocre film and then try to make it better (We get going back to the source material and better adapting that to make a new version of a film, or if you were going to bring something new to the project (The Odd Couple was remade a couple of times, once (on TV) with a mostly Black cast, and once (on Broadway) with a female “Felix” and “Oscar” both of which changed the dynamic of the show.
Well, that is something of what was done here, with this version, but even more than changing the racial make-up of the cast the script itself was re-tooled to better accommodate Hart’s performance style, as well as Ealy’s raw sexuality, making this essentially a different film (there was a very cool homage paid to the Lowe/Moore outing as Danny and Debbie spent an evening in watching the film in one scene. This then becomes the way to do a remake (or — even better — His Girl Friday as a remake of The Front Page) where the remake simply brings something different to the table, and not simply a “re-do” of the original script. So go see the new About Last Night and enjoy it, we did.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.