Commentary
5:00 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Fun Parts Of 'About Last Night' Don't Make A Satisfying Whole

Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant in 'About Last Night'
Credit rottentomatoes.com

About Last Night has one big problem: the story develops in ways that the general tone and the character developments don't support.

It isn't clear why Joy Bryant is treated like practically a square when she beds down with Michael Ealy maybe three hours after she meets him, and it isn't clear why he feels constrained by her presence in his life when she doesn't seem to be pressuring him and there doesn't seem to be anything he wants to do. In fact, their life together is so idyllic that the generically inevitable breakup seems arbitrary, just for the sake of plot.

And the same pattern is true for the secondary couple, Kevin Hart and Regina Hall, who react with comic excessive animation no matter what their relationship is at the moment or what the incentive is, until their final scene together at last injects something new. And yet, they have a kind of a breakup, too.

As is commonly the case these days, About Last Night is consistent fun in its individual scenes, but doesn't add up to much as a whole. It's a fun world, but not a real one.

There's monotony in the facts that practically every scene is an encounter between two people, no matter how many are on the screen, and the subject of the encounter is invariably love or sex, which are apparently all anybody is involved or interested in.

But the dialogue is frequently witty and has more substance than the arbitrary plot deserves, and Joy Bryant stands out in a good cast-- I hope she gets better material in the future. If About Last Night gives a boost to her career, we will have reason to be grateful to it.

Tags: