ABOUT LAST NIGHT
US, 2014, 100 minutes, Colour.
Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Christopher Mc Donald, Paula Patton.
Directed by Steve Pink.
About Last Night is based on David Mamet play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago. It was first performed in 1986 with Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Perkins and James Belushi. It was quite an effective portrait of young adults, their sexual encounters, friendships, finding their way, clashes and ultimate commitment.
This film is based on the play and the 1986 screenplay. It has been modernised and brought into the 21st century, frankness and language included. However, there is a difference since it is now a vehicle for an African- American cast. Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant have the Rob Lowe and Demi Moore roles, the more serious of the couples. Kevin Hart and Regina Hall are in the James Belushi – Elizabeth Perkins roles.
While the characters, situations and interactions are close to the original, there is a vast difference in an atmosphere with African- American settings and styles. Michael Ealy is very serious in his meeting with executive, Joy Bryant, engaging in a sexual relationship at their first meeting, but getting to know each other, falling in love, experiencing difficulties after she moves in, her moving out, the loneliness and the fact that they have to adjust if they want to relate well to each other. There is a final commitment.
The comic style of Kevin Hart is an acquired taste, his raucous manner in the style of Chris Tucker in films like Ride Along and The Wedding Ringer.
1. The impact of the original? The 1980s? The work of David Mamet?
2. The African American adaptation? For the 21st century? The contrast with the style for white characters, with black characters? Language, music? Personalities?
3. Chicago, the settings, the clubs, apartments, workplaces? Musical score and style?
4. The cast and their impact?
5. The title, the talk, especially between the men?
6. Men’s talk, especially about sexuality, relationships, themselves? The contrast with women’s talk, sexuality, themselves? All of them and discussions about their professions?
7. The focus on each character, the attitudes, styles?
8. The two men, the banter, sexual experiences, Bernie being more explicit, confronting? The effect? Danny, being more reticent? Each influencing the other?
9. Debbie and Joan, their work, together, friendships, Joan and the relationship with Bernie, the affair, raucous, explicit, the discussions, influence? The contrast with Debbie and Danny, moving in, work styles,
Debbie and her control, the effect on Danny, breaking up? Their not wanting to break up, confiding in their friends?
10. The film and its showing mutual influences, the men together, the women together, learning – and finally moving to some kind of commitment and the future?