Magazine article Variety

Hart, Hall Make for a Fun 'Night'

Magazine article Variety

Hart, Hall Make for a Fun 'Night'

Article excerpt

Hart, Hall Make for a Fun 'Night'

About Last Night

Director: Steve Pink

Starring: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall. Joy Bryant

Few may remember "About Last Night..." Edward Zwick's 1986 screen adaptation of David Mamet's play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," but this serviceable remake of the same name (sans ellipsis) is clearly aimed at broader sensibilities. As Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant traverse the cliched trials and tribulations of romantic entanglement, director Steve Pink balances the main story with the more flippant hijinks of comedian Kevin Hart ("Ride Along"), matched by a playfully bombastic Regina Hall. The jokes are hitor-miss, but a Valentine's Day release and Hart's committed fanbase should nonetheless drive the Screen Gems item to strong B.O. numbers.

While the original Rob Lowe-Demi Moore vehicle received strong critical attention during its release, it seems to have lost its cultural cachet, leaving this black-cast redo unbridled by any reputation to live up to. Headland's script mostly follows the same plot points, structured by the various holidays of the year, but it balances any sentimentalism with an over-the-top vulgarity and a more open sexual energy than its predecessor.

The pic opens with a burst of zippy energy as Bernie (Hart) and Joan (Hall) relay the events of their crazy night to his co-worker Danny (Ealy) and her roommate Debbie (Bryant) before a double date. While their evening initially looks like a bomb, with Bernie and Joan zipping off to the bathroom, Danny and Debbie find themselves entwined in something more intimate. Soon their weeknight getaways develop into a full-blown relationship as Debbie moves in with Danny, despite the adamant protests of Bernie and Joan. But as Danny attempts to change careers (an expendable subplot involving an Irish pub run by Chris McDonald), their bond runs into troubled waters, testing their levels of commitment and passion.

All this might seem a bit more conventional than it did in 1986, and it's surprising to see Headland's name on the project, given the acidic wit of "Bachelorette." Likewise, Pink could have found more inventive ways to invigorate these familiar beats than the nine montages included in the film's not particularly long running time. …

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