About Last Night is well worth the price of admission

“About Last Night,” adapted from the play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” by David Mamet, is a hysterical movie about dysfunctional people in dysfunctional relationships.

We follow two relationships in the film: Danny and Debbie, and Bernie and Joan; and there are also two best friend relationships: Danny and Bernie, and Debbie and Joan. Three of these pairings soar, while the fourth just maintains a low-flying altitude.

The relationship that most makes the movie work is the Bernie/Joan relationship. Both of these characters have deep-seeded and unresolved issues that cause their relationship to be hilariously volatile in a completely normal and believable kind of way. What makes the relationship seem so naturally realistic are the performances of both Kevin Hart and Regina Hall.

Right now, Kevin Hart is the undisputed king of comedy, but Regina Hall is no slouch herself. Not only does she hold her own with the comedy giant but in many scenes she also gets a one-up on him. Their on-screen chemistry is nothing short of perfection.

The other relationship that really makes the film work is the Debbie/Joan friendship. These besties are reminiscent of young golden girls. Debbie (Joy Bryant) and Joan have the kind of relationship where they can call each other a bitch and mean it in a good way and a bad way at the same time.

Poster for 'About Last Night'
Poster for ‘About Last Night’

Because their relationship with each other is never at stake, they can be completely honest with each other, both brutally and lovingly, and never have to worry about whether or not the other one has ulterior motives.

It is also good to see a relationship between female characters that is neither one-sided nor two-faced, and where the two women have each other’s backs unconditionally.

Similarly, Danny (Michael Ealy) and Bernie have an honesty-based relationship, but theirs is more juvenile. They have to joke their way through serious conversations in order to ease themselves into expressing what they’re really feeling.

Unfortunately, the relationship that is the least interesting is the Danny/Debbie relationship. But what makes the relationship unremarkable is not the performance of the actors, which are phenomenal, but the film’s editing.

Most of the scenes that are designed to explore Danny and Debbie’s relationship feel rushed. It’s almost as if the director (Steve Pink) wanted to hurry through the depth of the primary relationship to give the secondary relationship more screen time in order to justify Kevin Hart getting top billing.

A perfect example of this is how much of the Danny/Debbie relationship is shown using montage. While this is a perfectly useful way to condense eight weeks of training for a boxing match into a few minutes, it is a highly impractical way to develop a relationship.

“About Last Night” takes place in Los Angeles, but “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” takes place in…you guessed it, Chicago. While this may seem like a triviality, the complexity of Danny and Debbie’s relationship is rooted in the character of the city of Chicago.

And while Los Angeles is an awesome city, it doesn’t have the same charisma of Chicago. Chi-town is as much a character in the story as the people are, and moving the story to Los Angeles is, in a very real way, changing a major character. Nevertheless, if for nothing but the laughs, “About Last Night” is well worth the price of admission.


Rating: R

Running time: 100 mins.

Grade: B-

Verdict: This adaptation of David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” will definitely make you burst out laughing