About Last Night
- Rob Carnevale
- 18 March 2014
Remake of the 80s comedy lacks emotional impact
If Edward Zwick's original About Last Night was notable for offering a provocative look at sexual politics that only just made it past the censors, Steve Pink's remake is nothing more than a tedious attempt to update it for a new generation. Both films are adapted from David Mamet's stage play Sexual Perversity in Chicago, but where the 1986 version had heart to match its sexual bravado, this new version has no emotional impact and skimps on the eyebrow raising material too.
The story follows Danny and Debbie (Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant, occupying roles previously made famous by Rob Lowe and Demi Moore) as they meet, have bucket loads of sex and then try living together, only to find out how hard it is to make a relationship work. Watching, judging and sleeping with each other from the sidelines, meanwhile, are their best friends Bernie (Kevin Hart struggling to fill James Belushi's shoes) and Joan (Regina Hall).
There are two big problems with Pink's film. Firstly, Ealy and Bryant make for a bland couple and during the more weighty stuff appear to be just going through the motions. Such is their lack of chemistry that audience's will struggle to care whether they make it or not and Leslye Headland's screenplay offers nothing surprising (even lifting chunks of dialogue from the original film). Secondly, Pink allows Hart and Hall to hijack the film with a seemingly never-ending string of motor-mouthed routines that are mostly vulgar and seldom funny. And an unwise decision to drop in a scene that finds Ealy and Bryant watching Zwick's original and declaring how much they love it, makes you realise just how little love you have for this update.
General release from Fri 21 Mar.