Surely only 1980s movie enthusiasts and reboot-loving Hollywood bean counters were clamoring for a remake of the Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Jim Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins not-quite-classic, About Last Night… (1986). It was itself a watered-down adaptation of David Mamet’s tough 1974 play Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Yet this new version—transposed from Chicago to Los Angeles—never quite feels like a cynical cash grab, thanks to the uniformly terrific performances from the story’s central quartet.
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 all 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 most modern romances, director Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) films everything with a quick-cut freneticism more appropriate to the oeuvre of Michael Bay. Imagine His Girl Friday crossed with Armageddon and you’ll get a sense of the unfortunate disconnect that prevents an enjoyable light entertainment from achieving rom-com nirvana.
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