'About Last Night' redo tempers the melodrama.

AuthorHerndon, Jessica
PositionLiving - Movie review

Byline: Jessica Herndon

'About Last Night'


A Sony Pictures release

Rating: R for sexual content, language and brief drug use

Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

There can never be too many tales about a one-night stand turned long-term love affair.

Perhaps the allure comes from the hope that anyone can fall hard, despite the lack of a courtship. The latest take on this scenario, a reimagined version of the 1986 hit "About Last Night...,'' offers a modern spin on the challenges of connecting with strange bedfellows; a reboot that is as satisfying as breakfast in bed the morning after an unexpected rendezvous.

Based on David Mamet's 1974 play, "Sexual Perversity in Chicago,'' the 1980s film adaptation, which starred Demi Moore and Rob Lowe, centered on 20-something yuppies in Chicago. The Leslye Headland ("Bachelorette'') penned "About Last Night'' focuses on African-American singles in their 30s navigating the dating world in contemporary downtown Los Angeles.

Most of the original plot points remain the same: Danny (Michael Ealy) and Debbie (Joy Bryant) play a pair attempting to avoid dating because they have been hurt in the past. But after they meet at a bar -- and sleep together that same night -- they begin a relationship, shack up, break up and reunite. Kevin Hart and Regina Hall portray dysfunctional couple Bernie, Danny's crude best bud, and Joan, Debbie's pessimistic roommate. Bernie and Joan also jump into bed the first night they meet.

Similar to the way Vince Vaughn and Isla Fisher stole the show with their unforgettably bizarre romance in "Wedding Crashers'' as a dysfunctional, lusty pair, Hart and Hall are the best part of this film. They play the couple you know all too well: fiery, able to press one another's buttons and always caught in the makeup to breakup game.

Hall offers one of her most impressive performances. Her sharp comedic timing is on par with rising funnyman Hart's. Whether attempting a drunken quickie in a bathroom stall, fighting over who should be on top during sex or trading hateful quips...

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