About Last Night

Of all the date movies available for Valentine's weekend, About Last Night has the edge. That edge is mostly Kevin Hart, riding the box-office crest of Ride Along and able to spark laughs even while slogging through a sea of cliches (Grudge Match, anyone?). About Last Night, way better than the limp 1986 film of the same name with Demi Moore and Rob Lowe, benefits from a sharp script by Leslye Headland (Bachelorette), who catches the subversive spirit of the original source material, David Mamet's 1974 one-act play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago. It's the 21st century now, the setting has moved to Los Angeles, and the cast is mostly African-American, but hooking up with anyone anywhere is still a minefield. As Bernie, Hart parties hard and dodges commitment like a pint-sized Hasheem Thabeet. "Whoever says 'I love you' first cares more," Bernie claims. And Bernie is determined not to care. Then he meets Joan (Regina Hall), his female match. They fight over who should be on top, in and out of bed, and sometimes wearing a chicken mask. Hart and Hall are a dynamite team, and when they're onscreen all is raunchy fun with About Last Night. So why the hell do Headland and director Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) dawdle with Bernie's pal Danny (Michael Ealy) and Joan's roomie Debbie (Joy Bryant)? Don't get me wrong. Ealy and Bryant are attractive performers. But their storyline – two bruised romantics trying to heal their wounds – consists of mood swings and a shitload of moping. You keep waiting for Hart and Hall to show up again and slap this movie into raucous action. That they do. Hart is a comic fireball. Don't leave till after the final credits when he and Hall bust a few more hilarious improv moves. On them, sexual perversity looks damn good.

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