There are people in this world who think Kevin Hart is funny. But do those sad souls think he’s funnier than Jim Belushi?
Hart invites the comparison by taking one of Belushi’s classic roles in the remake of About Last Night. The story drifts further than the 1986 movie from the 1974 play on which it is based, Sexual Perversity in Chicago. It retains the core story, the rise and fall of a sex-based relationship between Danny Martin (Michael Ealy) and Debbie Sullivan (Joy Bryant). Martin and Sullivan are pressured by their best friends, sex-crazed pig Bernie Jackson (Hart) and viciously man-hating Joan Derrickson (Regina Hall).
There’s a dog and an “urban” ized cast in this one, but the biggest change is Jackson and Derrickson are also screwing. That’s just for an extra dose of bizarre humor, though. For the most part, this movie retains the soul of the 1986 film.
Not that that’s a good thing, mind you.
The original movie, and play for that matter, are perfect stereotypes of sexist writing. The very worst forms of misogyny and misandry hold sway.
The play is slightly forgivable because it doesn’t feature a forced, happy-ish ending. Chauvinism, represented by Bernie, and a feminine superiority complex, represented by Joan, successfully tear the couple apart. In the 1986 movie, the couple breaks free of their gender-specific expectations of themselves and each other. In this movie, the walking stereotypes are doing the nasty behind everyone’s back.
It doesn’t help that these movies rely so heavily on montage to pass time and add weight to the story. It’s very hard to sit through a movie that doesn’t add meaning to a two minute Simon and Garfunkel jingle.
This is the kind of story Hollywood needs to stop retelling, period. Let alone remakes of adaptations.
About Last Night may or may not be good for a laugh, but no better than a myriad of other movies. This film is the most recent addition to a pile of countless others just like it. Maybe viewers could stay in and find one that isn’t so reliant on sexism and romantic politics.
Joshua Knopp is a formerly professional film critic, licensed massage therapist, journalism and film student at the University of North Texas and a senior staff writer for the NT Daily. September, I remember… For questions, rebuttals and further guidance about cinema, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At this point, I’d like to remind you that you shouldn’t actually go to movies and form your own opinions. That’s what I’m here for.