‘About Last Night’s’ Regina Hall and Kevin Hart are are double-date material

February 14, 2014

Joan (Reginal Hall) gets frisky with Bernie (Kevin Hart) at her dental practice in “About Last Night.” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

I don’t care for most romantic comedies. Not because I don’t like romance, but because the “com” often gets left out of the rom-com.

Most characters in romantic comedies are one-dimensional, and flat people can’t do comedy. They can say jokes, but “saying jokes” is very different.

Well, comedy is what you get with “About Last Night” — at least for half the movie. A remake of the look-how-YOUNG-Rob-Lowe-is 1986 film, the movie is about two couples, and it spends about equal time with each. Which is its major flaw.

Danny and Debbie (Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant) are very nice, attractive people who are a total snoozefest.

Bernie and Joan (Kevin Hart and Regina Hall), on the other hand, are one of the funniest rom-com couples in recent memory. I imagine that the original function of Bernie and Joan was merely comic relief, cutting the sweetness of the central pairing, but Hart and Hall build them into such smart, robust characters that Danny and Debbie feel like an afterthought. I spent most of Danny and Debbie’s screen time wondering when Bernie and Joan would be back. I would pay money to have Bernie and Joan in the corner delivering commentary on the movie itself, “Mystery Science Theater 3000”-style. I want to hang out with Bernie and Joan. Often.

Because Bernie and Joan are so much more interesting than Danny and Debbie, and their relationship is more realistic — and I’m saying that about a couple who, at one point in the film, have sex when one of them is wearing a chicken mask. Danny and Debbie are nothing but objects for each other to want, while Bernie and Joan are just fine as individuals — and even better together.

 

Kristen Page-Kirby covers film for The Washington Post Express.
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