(In French, On Cable TV, June 2019) I came to About Last Night… the other way around, having seen (and really enjoyed) the 2014 remake before seeing the original. This one is set in 1980s Chicago (nicely using the city’s landmarks), and follows a yuppie couple as they connect, disconnect, and reconnect over the span of a year. Demi Moore and Rob Lowe are quite likable as the lead couple. In fact, this may be my favourite performances from them both—and that’s saying something considering Moore’s extensive career. The better than average dialogue clearly comes from David Mamet’s original theatrical play, and it shines even through the crude French translation doing its best to keep up with its rapid rhythm. It’s easy to see why some consider it to be a semi-classic romantic comedy: the execution is much better than the somewhat stock premise. And yet, and yet: this may be a generational thing or a recency bias, but I can’t quite muster the same affection toward the original About Last Night… than I have for its Los Angeles-set remake. It’s still good enough … but not quite as good.
(On Cable TV, March 2015) I wasn’t expecting much from this low-profile romantic comedy (a remake of a 1986 film based on a 1974 David Mamet play), but I should have suspected otherwise given that it stars the enormously likable Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant. Set in downtown Los Angeles, About Last Time details a year in the life of four young people, during which they meet, fall in love, break up, reconcile and change careers. Almost immediately charming, it’s a film built on dialogues and performances, and all four main actors truly knock it out of the park, with particular mentions for Hart and Hall, both of whom play the uninhibited comic relief couple to the more conventional Ealy and Bryant. (Elsewhere in the film, Paula Patton has another great but too-short turn as a romantic antagonist.) While About Last Night isn’t particularly original, it’s slickly-made, modern, almost constantly funny and features intensely likable actors. It’s hard to ask for much more from a romantic comedy