Kevin Hart’s evident mission to appear in just about every other Hollywood comedy coming out these days continues with the woeful About Last Night, a painfully unfunny mix of, I guess you have to call it comedy and romance, that’s as smug as it is forgettable and something of a disappointment considering it comes from Steve Pink, the director of the funny Hot Tub Time Machine and underrated Accepted.
Both an adaptation of the 1974 play Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet and 1986 film of the same name, the plot centres on two couples; Danny (Michael Ealy) and Debbie (Joy Bryant) and Bernie (Kevin Hart) and Joan (Regina Hall) and follows the various ups and downs of their relationships.
Hart – the comedian equivalent of one of those wind-up teeth toys that just won’t stop chattering and jumping around – recently proved himself to be more annoying than a cat squealing while dragging its nails down a chalk board in Ride Along and he manages to be just as, if not more, annoying here. The bromance relationship between him and Ealy (an otherwise amiable actor saddled with a nothing character here) is as irritating as they come, their conversations consisting of the kind of bawdy humour that makes some of the American Pie sequels seem classy.
I guess it’s supposed to be some sort of relatable and meaningful look at how relationships can flourish and stumble when two people try to keep things casual but things get more complicated. However, the writing just isn’t up to snuff as it flits awkwardly between vulgarity that comes off as a teenager who’s just learned how to swear and two central relationship storylines that are equal parts boring, corny and unconvincing.
I don’t know what’s worse, the incessant sex jokes surrounding involving Hart and Hall that the film somehow thinks passes for side-splitting comedy or Ealy and Bryant, the more normal couple of the two who, despite the screenplay’s efforts to repeatedly show them madly besotted with one another, are utterly bland and predictable. The whole thing tries to play these two polar-opposite kind of relationships off of one another but it simply doesn’t work when neither of them is engaging or funny enough.
Only mega fans of Hart’s particular brand of over-the-top screechy comedy will find merit in this one. For anyone else it’s an insufferably self-satisfied anti-rom-com featuring lewd humour of the lowest kind and a horrendously misjudged portrayal of romance.
About Last Night is released in UK cinemas on March 21st.