This remake of a 1980’s film of the same title stars Kevin Hart as Bernie, which was originally played by Jim Belushi and made Jim Belushi. The 1980’s About Last Night put Belushi on the map and his career took of. There is hope that the 2014 About Last Night will do the same for Kevin Hart.
Though based on the play by David Mamet’s titled Sexual Perversity in Chicago, the screenplay for this 2014 film leans heavily on the 80’s version starring Jim Belushi, Elizabeth Perkins, Demi Moore, and Rob Lowe. The major different between these two films with the same title is that the cast in the 2014 film delivers amazing performances all the way around. The biggest criticism of the earlier film was that Demi Moore and Rob Lowe delivered kind of a good performance. As an assemble, this cast is one of the best.
Hart is on the rising comedians who banked at the theaters with his own theatrical release of his stand-up. He has been in a few movies (Grudge, Ride Along) where he has been the sidekick. But here, in About Last Night, he is the lead. As Bernie he is best friend to Michael Ealy’s Danny. Danny has been out of a relationship for some time but refuses to date again. The film opens with Bernie sharing with Danny the sexual encounter he had with a woman named Joan (Regina Hall) the night before. Meanwhile, Joan is doing the same thing with her roommate Debby (Joy Bryant). The editing is so good that Bernie and Joan are finishing each others’ sentences without even knowing it. But it does something else. It communicates, from the beginning, that men and women are equal when it comes to relationships. What the woman says is just as important as what the man says, something we do not always get.
The film is said to be a tale of two romantic couples. Bernie and Joan set up Debby and Danny, inviting them to the club to hang out with them. Debby, when seeing an ex of hers, pretends that Danny is her boyfriend by grabbing his hand to hold. Danny tells her he will pretend to be her boyfriend anytime. And their relationship begins that evening when they have sex. Which happens a lot in this movie between these two couples, and they talk about it . . . a lot. And if that is something you don’t like in a movie, this is not the movie for you.
Bernie and Joan break-up and it becomes a strain on everyone. But eventually the two realize that they are made for each other. Danny and Debby, on the other hand, at first are reluctant to get involved with each other because of their former relationships. Even so, they eventually move in together. One of the first things Debby does is purchase a dining room table for the dining room space in Danny’s loft. The table is where they attempt to have Thanksgiving Day dinner with their friends. However, the relationship takes a turn and isn’t quite the same.
While Bernie and Joan are secretly back together, Debby and Danny break up. After some time, they meet up again and agree to go out and catch up.
While the film is a tale about two couples falling in love, it is also about friends being there for each other through the joys and the sufferings of life. Relationships are hard. When you love someone life is not just going to be automatically perfect. It takes a lot of work. And through that hard, and meaningful work, it is important to have good friends there to support you and be there for you. And that is what Bernie and Danny have in each other and what Joan and Debby have in each other.
And that is what the movie is really about.