About Last Night Remake Neither Romantic nor Comedic
- Friday, February 14, 2014
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: February 14, 2014
Rating: R (sexual content, language and brief drug use)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Run Time: 100 minutes
Director: Steve Pink
Cast: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant
About Last Night is billed as a romantic comedy, which seems odd considering it is almost totally devoid of either romance or comedy. What this modern reimagining of the 1986 movie does have is sex, crude language, bad behavior, and a really cute dog. Unfortunately, the dog doesn't show up for some time and he doesn't have nearly enough screen time for his adorable furry face to overcome all the filth that came before.
Having now sat through the entire 100 minutes of the film I am amazed they managed to find enough footage to create even a thirty-second trailer suitable for television audiences. It’s not just that the dialogue is all about sex; it’s the ugly, degrading tone of the language that really grates on the nerves. Women and men alike were objectified as nothing more than walking sexual organs available to be used and abused on a whim. Hostile, biting profanities were fired back and forth as a kind of foreplay. Is this really what passes for romance these days?
What made the experience worse was that the acting was quite good, and I don't just mean in the many and varied sex scenes. Michael Ealy (Unconditional) used his beautiful eyes to great effect, displaying the wide range of emotions lurking beneath Danny’s even-keeled exterior. Debbie (Joy Bryant, Antwone Fisher), Danny’s love interest, could say more with a quick curl of her lip than her loudmouth friends got out in an entire soliloquy. They made such a nice couple; if only they had a better peer group… As it was, their so-called friends' idea of support was to be negative, insulting, hateful, and drunk. Which brings us to the unlovely occasional couple, Bernie (Kevin Hart, Grudge Match) and Joan (Regina Hall, The Best Man Holiday). These two were just nasty. They were believably nasty—see previous comment about the quality of the acting—but that only made their antics more unpleasant. It’s a shame such talented performers feel the need to shovel filth down the audience’s throat and more of a shame that audiences are so willing to be fed this kind of poison.
The little bit of plot tucked in between Hart’s potty-mouthed rants mostly revolves around Debbie and Danny’s relationship. This could actually be characterized as a romance; many of their moments together are sweet and occasionally funny. They’re well-matched as a couple; with a better script it would have been a pleasure to watch them.
It’s interesting—and sad—to see these couples who think nothing of casual intercourse but practically hyperventilate over the possibility that all this copulating might "mean something." They're all so afraid to admit they have feelings beyond lust, as if that’s some kind of weakness. It hamstrings their relationships, which is a problem when Danny and Debbie try to build a life together. Their friends don’t help, trying to pull the couple apart in an attempt to keep everyone on the same level of availability. They just can’t fathom why anyone would want to be committed to just one person. Despite this, Debbie and Danny stick with their friends, which does at least make for a mildly entertaining Thanksgiving celebration.
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