The new romantic comedy About Last Night starring Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant is determined to make Valentines Weekend 2014 one to remember. And the on-screen comedic duo of Hart and Hall are bringing the funny, while putting a modern spin on the 1986 version starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. I had the opportunity to interview the co-stars during a promotional stop in Detroit, and while they were both very engaging and excited to talk about their new film, their in-between-answers interaction made keeping a straight face impossible! But the whole experience gave me a new found appreciation for Kevin Hart and a deeper knowledge of just how multi-talented Regina Hall is.
About Last Night is the story of four Los Angeles singles, who go through the good, the bad, the ugly and the funny while trying to navigate through their relationships. Is it always bad to sleep with someone on the first date? Can a one-night stand turn into a long-term relationship? Is raw chemistry enough to sustain a couple? Why is monogamy a bad word to some? All these questions are explored in a side-splittingly funny – but real way in the Will Packard-produced film.
Loud-mouth Bernie (Hart) and his bright-eyed best friend Danny (Ealy) are out on any given evening when Debbie (Bryant), a smart, beautiful but cautious-about-love woman catches Danny’s eye. An instant love match is made and they end up sleeping together on the first night … and many nights after that. Much to the dislike of Debbie’s best friend Joan, (Hall). Meanwhile Joan and Bernie have their own thing going on that’s pretty complicated in its own right. Danny and Debbie try to make their relationship last outside of the bar and bedroom , and hilarious but real life situations ensue for the next 100 minutes.
“Bernie and Joan have a different take on relationships from the beginning, being that we weren’t looking for one,” says Kevin Hart says about he and Regina Hall’s characters. “We just wanted to have a good time. And being that [having a good time] was all that we were doing, because as we continued to do it, we grew feelings. Then my character got a little scared. When she [Regina’s character Joan] came at me on some girlfriend title stuff, I got nervous. But after leaving, but still coming around each other, and going through that emotional roller coaster that was filled with so much passion and anger, we eventually get to a place of love. And the journey was so unique.”
Interacting with Kevin Hart makes one appreciate him more. There is no denying that he is a bankable TV and movie star. But what you may not know is how naturally personable and genuine he is, and even when not playing up the over-the-top funny man bit, he’s just a nice guy who really loves his fans. Fans that have followed him from his stand-up comedy start in favorites like Laugh at My Pain, to movies like Soul Plane, and finally in blockbusters like Think Like A Man to his most recent hit Ride Along.
“I love the way we promoted these movies. The way of promoting is so different now. People don’t understand why I embrace it. I love going out and physically allowing my fans to see me, and show that I appreciate you. It goes along way. “
Hart also knows how to share the spotlight. His co-star Regina Hall, seen most recently in The Best Man Holiday, finally has her “coming out party” (Kevin Hart’s words) in this movie and Hart is the proud host. Regina Hall has been quietly working steadily since her breakout role as Candy in The Best Man (1999). She has been featured in the Scary Movie films, Death at a Funeral and Think Like a Man. But in About Last Night, the ingénue actually steals quite a few scenes from her co-star. When talking about how she prepared for the role of Joan, she says, “People already know Kevin is going to be hilarious. So the expectation for me was different in this role. So when you are playing opposite someone who you know is hilarious and then together you are able to create another component of hilarious it’s like wow! We just wanted to create a dynamic of male and female, like Red Foxx and Aunt Ester, or George Jefferson and Florence.” And two watch them interact with each other during our interview was like an old married couple who could finish each other’s sentences and lovingly roast each other, but still manage to answer every question with tact and honesty. It’s this chemistry that makes About Last Night work as a great film both women and men can enjoy.
The remake of the original starring Demi Moore and Rob Lowe, is based on the David Mamet play Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Produced by Will Packer (This Christmas, Takers, Think Like A Man) and director by Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine), About Last Night is a huge departure from Think Like A Man. Hall and Hart both say it’s a completely different type of movie all around. “We earned our R-rating. This movie has a different type of edginess.” says Hall. “You may be seeing something that is visually similar, but when you get into the movie you don’t even think about it. It’s a different tone, it’s emotionally different.” Kevin says for the first time he gets to play “a grown man” on film. “And that’s what I think you’ll credit the production and the directing [with]. You visually don’t think it.”
Hart and Hall say they’re excited about the warm reception from movie-goers. “Mark my words. People are going to be shocked. The word of mouth from this film is going to be very strong. You can’t track what this will do for Valentines Weekend. The way social media is right now and that word of mouth gets to spreading, it’s going to skyrocket!”
Oh, and just who is running the social media you ask (I did)? “Regina leans in and whispers, “His name is Kevin Hart. He’s a master at it.” And he’s a master at picking great movie roles too. About Last Night opens in theaters everywhere Feb. 14.