The new movie, ABOUT LAST NIGHT, is a remake of a 1986 movie that was the first screen version of David Mamet's 1974 play called SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO.
I wish someone had just filmed the play.
This latest movie version is a silly romantic comedy that is both raunchy and sentimental. It's also not believable.
The story focuses on two couples, one outrageous and funny and the other bland and almost boring. Unfortunately, the boring pair are the main characters.
The best performances in ABOUT LAST NIGHT comes from comedian Kevin Hart as Bernie, the raunchy, promiscuous friend of the more stable, bland main character, Danny, played by Michael Ealy.
Bernie: I meet this girl, cute….She gets drunk. I get drunk. So we go back to my place.
Joan: He gets too drunk.
Danny: Shame on you.
Bernie: Dude, it's not my fault the man downstairs can't keep it together.
Through Bernie and his latest conquest, Joan, played by Regina Hall, Danny meets Debbie played by Joy Bryant. Both are recovering from break ups but are instantly smitten.
Debbie: God, I love you.
Danny: I love you too.
Bernie: No, No, No! Who said I love you first?
Danny: She did.
Bernie: Women approach that phrase with the tactical strategy normally reserved for an anti-terrorist strike team. This was no accident; this was an ambush. This was definitely…
Joan (Debbie's friend) a disaster.
Debbie: Is it that bad to be the first one to say it?
Joan: Yes, it is. Whoever says I love you first…
Bernie: cares more.
If the entire movie were this clever, I'd have liked it a lot more. But Danny and Debbie's problematic relationship feels contrived and unrealistic, and maybe the studio realized that because all of the scenes released for use on TV involve the crazy couple who are supposed to be comic relief.
Joan: This isn't just sex, right?
Bernie: This is technically sex, babe, yes.
Joan: I know, but we mean something to each other, right?
Joan: Am I your girlfriend?
(She slaps him.)
Bernie and Joan spend nearly all their screen time, arguing and trading insults even when they're in bed. So their scenes in the movie make for some raunchy fun provided you're not offended by that sort of thing.
But the serious couple, who are hung up on issues of commitment and responsibility, are no fun at all. Their sentimental story just can't compete with the outrageous humor of their crazy friends.
When you mix farce and earnest emotion into the same script, what is the audience supposed to feel?
I felt annoyed.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now firstname.lastname@example.org