Released in 1986, the original version of “About Last Night” revolved around the year-long efforts 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 David Mamet, who won a Pulitzer Prize for “Glengarry Glen Ross.”
Loosely based on the original, this raunchy remake is a romantic comedy doubling as a vehicle for popular comic-turned-actor Kevin Hart. After all, his character Bernie was a sidekick in the source material, but is now the leading man. Furthermore, the setting has been shifted to L.A., where much of the humor caters to the African-American palate since the principal cast members are now all Black.
The film is at its best when over-the-top Bernie is talking trash. For instance, he brags about leaving a recent sexual conquest’s “edges nappy,” an inside joke insinuating that the session was so steamy it had literally uncurled 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 aforementioned twosome 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 are 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 (Paula Patton). It doesn’t help that Bernie begins pressuring his suddenly-domesticated pal to once again sow his wild oats.
The resulting relationship tensions still take a back seat to lighthearted banter in this superficial adventure laced with one-liners like, “If this b---h were any dumber, you’d have to water her.” Look for quickie cameos by NFL great Terrell Owens, and a clip from the original featuring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore.
The updated “About Last Night” is a bawdy variation on the original that establishes Kevin Hart as a bona fide box-office attraction.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for profanity, sexuality, nudity and brief drug use
Running time: 110 minutes
Distributor: Screen Gems
To see a trailer for About Last Night, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QEfDr1OE8Q