Kevin Hart spearheads raunchy remake of ‘80s romantic romp
Kam Williams | 2/21/2014, 6:05 a.m.
Released in 1986, “About Last Night” revolved around the yearlong effort of a couple of Chicago yuppies, played by Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, to forge a solid relationship on the shaky ground of a one-night stand. The movie was adapted from “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” a dialogue-driven drama by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Mamet.
Loosely based on the original, a just-released raunchy remake of the same name is a romantic comedy ostensibly serving as a vehicle for popular comic-turned-actor Kevin Hart. After all, his character, Bernie, the sidekick in the source material, is now the leading man. Furthermore, the setting has been shifted to Los Angeles, where much of the humor caters to the African-American palate, since the principal cast members are now all black.
The film happens to be at its best when over the top Bernie’s talking trash. For instance, he brags about leaving a recent sexual conquest “edges nappy,” an inside joke insinuating that the session was so steamy it had literally curled his partner’s straightened hair.
Directed by Steven Pink (“Hot Tub Time Machine”), the picture co-stars Regina Hall opposite Hart as his love interest, Joan. Rounding out the principal cast are Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant as Danny and Debbie, the main couple played by Lowe and Moore in the original movie, who decide to give serious commitment a go.
At the point of departure we are introduced to Bernie and Danny, best friends and co-workers at a restaurant supply company. The former recounts a purely lustful escapade he shared with Joan prior to introducing the latter to her roommate. Danny goes gaga over Debbie and the cinematic table is set.
Bernie and Joan remain incessantly in heat, and can’t keep their hands off each other. By contrast, Danny and Debbie prove to be introspective enough to move in together, buy furniture, adopt a pet and generally map out a future.
The plot thickens when Danny loses his job and ends up tending bar at Casey’s, a saloon frequented by his stalker ex-girlfriend, played by Paula Patton. It doesn’t help that Bernie’s already been pressuring his suddenly-domesticated pal to revert to sowing his wild oats.
Regardless, the resulting relationship tensions still take a back seat to lighthearted banter in this superficial adventure laced with one-liners like, “If this b-- were any dumber, you’d have to water her.” The movie includes quickie cameos by NFL great Terrell Owens, as well as by Lowe and Moore courtesy of a clip from the ‘80s original.
The currently playing “About Last Night” is a bawdy variation on the theme that should establish Hart as a bona-fide box-office attraction.