Actors: Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Ultraviolet, AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Run Time: 100 minutes
With nearly every blockbuster being released in theaters being a film built off of an existing franchise, whether it is an adaptation from a comic book, sequel or remake of some past success, it is slightly disappointing to see this practice bleed over into the field of modestly budgeted romantic comedies as well. While it is more understandable to see the action-packed summer movies remade, both because of the box-office safety net needed when spending large sums of money to make the films and due to the continued advancements in special effects technology, there is little to be altered in romantic comedies from twenty-years ago other than the advent of text messaging. At least the film chosen to remake was only moderately received upon first release, criticized as being a poor adaptation itself. As long as studios don’t try and remake Sleepless in Seattle, Say Anything or When Harry Met Sally, I will allow films like About Last Night to pass without much complaining.
The 1986 romantic comedy About Last Night… starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and James Belushi was adapted from the David Mamet play, “Sexual Perversity in
The 2014 About Last Night is merely
an adaptation of Tim Kazurinski and Denise DeClue’s 1986 screenplay, and it is
no wonder that most sequences of this film feel like a copy of a copy of a
copy. The unbridled and occasionally humorous energy of Kevin Hart in a
supporting role is about the only thing keeping the filmmakers and cast from
sleepwalking into the credits. Chicago
Unfortunately, much of the film’s narrative relies heavily on the contrived relationship between stars Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant as Danny and Debbie. The relationship has hints of realism thrown into the cliché pitfalls of commitment, but it doesn’t even feel like the actors buy into the forced issues that inevitably drive the pair apart. They are the boring and predictable leads, which opens the comedy up for Hart and Regina Hall as the film’s secondary relationship and supporting cast members. Their relationship doesn’t have the restrictions of realism, which allows for exaggerated and unlikely situations developed for the comedic support alone.
There is nothing particularly offensive about this remake. The improvisational dialogue gets a bit over-the-top, and it often feels like Hart is desperately trying to hijack the lead role, but it is moderately entertaining and resembles the copy of a copy of a well-written relationship. Exclusive to the Blu-ray release are three additional special features, added to the making-of featurette included on the high definition and standard DVD alike. Unfortunately, each additional featurettes is completely irreverent and entirely extraneous. There is a featurette about saying “I love you” first in a relationship, one with tips from the cast on making a relationship work, and the final one is actually just advice on romance from complete strangers off the street.
Entertainment Value: 7.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance: 5.5/10