Surely only ’80s movie lovers were clamouring for a remake of the Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and Jim Belushi not-quite-classic from 1986. That itself was a watered-down adaptation of David Mamet’s tough 1974 play ‘Sexual Perversity in Chicago’. Yet this new version – set in LA – never quite feels like a cynical cash grab, thanks to terrific performances.
The men are motormouth Bernie (Kevin Hart) and his dapper pal Danny (Michael Ealy); the ladies are sassy Joan (Regina Hall) and her introverted roommate Debbie (Joy Bryant). The film tracks them through a year of romantic travails. These range from the relatively serious (staying true to your significant other while being pursued by your ex) to the sublimely ridiculous (how to keep your love life interesting: chicken-costume sex!). Though the dialogue has a pinprick-precise rhythm that shames your average romance, director Steve Pink (‘Hot Tub Time Machine’) films everything with a quick-cut freneticism. Imagine ‘His Girl Friday’ crossed with ‘Armageddon’ and you’ll get a sense of what prevents an enjoyable light entertainment from achieving romcom nirvana.