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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

About Last Night has a little too much Hart

Posted By on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM

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Valentine’s Day tends to bring out the worst in Hollywood. A quick look at Friday’s release schedule reveals that couples can celebrate the holiday by watching sentimental crap like Endless Love and Winter’s Tale. Both movies open on Friday. Unfortunately, the comedy About Last Night, which also opens on Friday, isn’t a worthwhile alternative. While it has its funny, irreverent moments, it ultimately settles for clichés about true love and fidelity.

The film starts out strong. Best friends Bernie (Kevin Hart) and Danny (Michael Ealy) have met up at their neighborhood bar. The fast-talking, sarcastic Bernie tells Danny about Joan (Regina Hall), the woman he hooked up with last night. Things got hot and heavy until his “whiskey dick” derailed the festivities. But he wants to see her again, and he’s invited her and her roommate Debbie (Joy Bryant) to share some drinks. The dialogue in this opening scene is really sharp (and vulgar) and suggests the rest of the film will follow suit. But the plot quickly proceeds down a familiar path.

At the couples’ first meeting, Berne and Joan get hammered and Danny and Debbie quickly make themselves scarce. Predictably enough, Danny and Debbie, both of whom are much more mature than Bernie and Joan, fall for one another and move in after only a couple of months of dating. Predictably enough, Bernie and Joan split up after only a couple of months of screwing. At this point, the film takes on a much more serious tone. Danny and Debbie start having issues. Danny feels threatened by the fact that Debbie has a good, high-paying job and he’s taken on a bartending gig just to make ends meet. Debbie feels like he doesn’t communicate very well. After Danny goes on a bender right before Thanksgiving, the two split up.

Based on the 1986 film that was, in turn based on the 1974 David Mamet play Sexual Perversity in Chicago, the movie has a good story at its core. The character’s relationships seem realistic. And their problems seem real. But a little Hart goes a long way and the comedian, who doesn’t act so much as he just plays himself, is often overbearing and overwhelming, overshadowing the performances of the other cast members.

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