Remember that one time you happened to stumble into that special someone at your favorite bar, which led to a few sweet nothings and a spontaneous midnight rendezvous? Also remember the awkward morning that ensued? In “About Last Night,” a hilariously frank and modern remake of the 1986 movie by the same title, director Steve Pink explores whether a hot new flame can last more than a night. Set apart by witty dialogue and relatable personalities, “About Last Night” follows the journey of two couples as they attempt to bring newfound love into their everyday lives.
Every single on the search needs a bona fide wing person, and Bernie (Kevin Hart) and Joan (Regina Hall) are just that, the guides to the game for their “boring” best friends Danny (Michael Ealy) and Debbie (Joy Bryant), respectively. As Danny’s feelings for Debbie quickly progress and one unexpected night turns to living together, Bernie is adamant about holding onto his bachelorhood. Bernie declares to Danny, “You’ve been banished to the world of matching costumes. I don’t know anything more emasculating.” Yet Bernie also finds himself drawn to Joan, who wants to be the girlfriend but, like Bernie, doesn’t want to be the one to say, “I love you” first. Amidst career pressures and lingering pasts, these four weave through the temptations of singledom and discover a different side of themselves in a life of commitment.
Delivering salacious humor with confidence and ease, Hart is truly in his element. His playful, joking nature fits seamlessly into the clever banter between friends and lovers. Throughout the film, the dialogues between characters flow naturally and allows for the development of believable relationships. It also allows for a storyline that doesn’t seem contrived despite predictable romantic comedy elements such as the return of the ex and the breakup to make up. Though not complex performances, the four leads present their respective characters in a way that is far from one-dimensional. Hall brings a light-hearted, jovial spirit to the catty and tarty Joan, Bryant brings tenderness to the passively demanding Debbie, and Ealy brings an honest essence to the endearing but slightly misguided Danny.
The cinematography is warm and inviting, allowing for the storyline to unfold in a natural way. The film introduces chapters of the story as seasons—from “About Fall” to “About Spring”— creating a fluid passage of time. This gives the characters space to grow, as their development is projected as a journey in time. Each scene is full of dialogue, creating liveliness throughout the film. Conversations between Joan and Debbie and Bernie and Danny are woven together so that the characters complete each other’s sentences in adjacent scenes, illustrating the comparative perspectives on love that men and women hold. The film’s narrative is fully focused on the four leads, enabling the audience to gain intimate knowledge about the feelings, thoughts, and perspectives of each character. Furthermore, the score throughout the film enhances the emotions and tensions between the characters within each scene. With a selection that includes the works of John Legend and Bruno Mars, this score sets an undercurrent of romance and soft love throughout the film.
“About Last Night” presents a real, modern depiction of not just finding but sustaining love in today’s busybody, social media-driven world. This romantic comedy may not be compelling, but its relatable storyline embraces the awkwardness of real-world romance. It manages to be youthful and hopeful without being trite and makes a compelling argument that “an honest relationship is the most freeing thing in the world.”
—Staff writer Nzuekoh N. Nchinda can be reached at email@example.com.
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