A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that About Last Night is a hilarious remake of the 1986 classic, based on a David Mamet play, that trades in mature sexual themes: one-night stands, relationship woes, breakups, infidelity, friends with benefits, and more. Men and women freely discuss sex acts with friends; one character makes sexist jokes. Expect lots of swearing (from the fairly tame "moron" to various permutations of the F-word) and hard-core drinking and one scene with people getting stoned, plus sex scenes that don't show breasts, backsides, or genitals, but definitely imply specific acts.
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What's the story?
A remake of a 1986 movie, itself based on the David Mamet play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," finds Danny (Michael Ealy), a restaurant supply salesman, in an are-they-or-are-they-not-dating situation with Debbie (Joy Bryant), a business executive, whom he meets while playing wing-man to his best friend Bernie (Kevin Hart). Bernie has had a one-night stand with Joan (Regina Hall), who happens to be Debbie's roommate. Bernie's up for another hook-up with Joan, but Danny ends up going home with Debbie, too. They make an instant connection, but neither is sure if they're ready for a full-on committed relationship. They can't resist each other, either, so off they go. But are they moving too fast?
Is it any good?
Remakes are minefields, as they can blow up if not done right; fortunately, ABOUT LAST NIGHT lays no such trap. It's terrific. Start with four leads who bring their A-game. Michael Ealy is especially smooth, his Danny a believable modern guy who's flummoxed by modern-day relationships. Kevin Hart, as the mouthy, funny Bernie, risks going over the top sometimes, but never does, and he finds the most hilarious beats in every line. Ditto Regina Hall. If there's a weaker link among the four, it's Joy Bryant, and only because her character isn't as ostentatious or befuddled. And her chemistry with Ealy is there, though not sizzling, which makes their supposedly irresistible connection slightly less convincing.
There's not much that will shock audiences here, since the "sexual perversity" from the play on which this is based -- romantic confusion amid lots of hookups and miscommunication -- isn't all that perverse anymore. Still, most everyone can relate to the intricacies of navigating friendships -- especially when one is single and the other isn't -- and the ambivalence and ambiguity that permeates the first months, even the first year, of a relationship. About Last Night reminds us how awkward and tension-filled that can be, and how rewarding it often is.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: February 14, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: May 20, 2014
- Cast: Kevin Hart, Joy Bryant, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall
- Director: Steve Pink
- Studio: Screen Gems
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, language and brief drug use
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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