About Last Night

1986

About Last Night

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

61%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

59%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,653
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Movie Info

David Mamet's play +Sexual Perversity in Chicago was adapted for the big screen by fellow Chicago citizen Tim Kazurinsky and became About Last Night... The film stars Rob Lowe as Danny and Demi Moore as Debbie. The pair meet and engage in a torrid sexual relationship, but then slowly negotiate if there is anything more between them. Lowe seeks advice from his loudmouthed friend Bernie (Chicago native James Belushi), whose offers little more than outrageous tales of his randy exploits. Debbie confides in her best friend Joan (Elizabeth Perkins), a bitter, single kindergarten teacher who has lost any hope of finding the right person on the dating scene. Although Danny and Debbie talk, they have trouble communicating. The film ends on a coda that suggests the pair are still unsure as to where their relationship may be headed.

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Critic Reviews for About Last Night

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (9)

  • Writers DeClue and Kazurinsky have created a recognizable geography for every age; you suspect that About Last Night will set off pangs of identification everywhere.

    Feb 13, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Homework assignment: Is the decision to change both the title and the thrust of Mamet's play evidence of perversity or of perversion? Due tomorrow. Class dismissed.

    Feb 13, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The shocks of recognition are largely absorbed by the standard narrative structure that replaces Mamet's blackouts; the characters, instead of functioning as archetypes, look underwritten, half alive.

    Feb 13, 2014 | Full Review…
  • This is the yuppie drama that St. Elmo`s Fire wanted to be but wasn't.

    Jan 16, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Film lacks much of Mamet's grittiness, but is likable in its own right.

    Jan 21, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The screenwriters work many nice little observations into their occasionally over-quippish script, but this is considerably smaller than the sum of its parts.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for About Last Night

  • Jun 20, 2014
    The kind of movie that brings out the romantic in me and breaks my heart in the same proportion, depicting love and commitment with absolute sincerity and how all the conflicts and lack of real communication can sabotage a relationship and lead to certain discontentment.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • May 22, 2014
    I like how there's something awkward about this film's title, which is still not as awkward as the original play's title, "Sexual Perversity in Chicago". That's such a general title that I'm expecting this to be some kind of an extensive epic or something that studies on the depths of depravity within Chicago... although that might simply be because Edward Zwick is directing this. Zwick never made the most broad-scale epics, but it is odd to see him start out with a film of such light subject matter. Hey, plenty of big filmmakers started out with films this fluffy, or at least they did in the '80s, the era from which this film ever so obviously hails. I mean, seriously, it's Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, ladies and gentlemen, so does it get to be any more of a 1980s rom-com? I understand that it's a rom-com-dram, but I don't know if you can take all that seriously the dramatic depths of anything featuring [u]Jim[/u] Belushi, even though it is emotionally heavy to think about his career in comparison to that of his dead brother. Well, at least this film was a fair success, and a fair debut for Edward Zwick, even though this film does prove that Zwick really was never without some fault. I have a lot of admiration for the overwhelming wit that pretty much defines the film which is sharper than your usual rom-com fare, up until that sharpness cuts as too clever for its own good, shaking the believability in certain dialogue pieces, and often getting to be annoying in its busy edge. Of course, about as, if not more questionable of a trait within Tim Kazurinsky's and Denise DeClue's script is melodrama, which is so distancing, not just because it's not as grounded as it perhaps should be to resonate, maybe even cheesy, but because it's a betrayal of the genuineness (Oh, those montages set to cheesy '80s pop kind of made me ill) that makes certain areas of this film so special. There's something refreshing about this clever and, in a lot of ways, mature romantic dramedy, and that makes it all the more aggravating when genuineness lapses, often accompanied with originality, whose conventional elements beget a bland sense of predictability that is admittedly thinned down simply by storytelling's taking so long to reach expected destinations. It's hard something fierce to look at this film's story concept and runtime of almost two hours and not fear dragging, and make no mistakes, the concern is just, for the final product drags its feet time and again, and not even with filler, fleshing out more and more material to the point of repetition, with only so much liveliness to filler. Of course, once aimlessness goes broken by filler, all of that cleverness takes yet another fierce blow by some sort of laziness that, in addition to inspiring a sense of tonal inconsistency, obscures potential that was always to have a certain transparency to it. No matter how worthy the film's subject matter is, or at least appears to be when approached with an edge and maturity that most films of this nature don't even have the decency to incorporate into their basic narrative idea, this is something of a thin, perhaps fluffy story concept that limits potential, further limited by both overambition and laziness to the execution. The film is ultimately underwhelming, more so than it could have been, but it still does enough right to endear, even in concept. I just now got done griping about how this film might have stood a chance of transcending underwhelmingness, if it wasn't for natural shortcomings to a story concept that is still worthy, having a certain genuine uniqueness and maturity to its approach to an age-old tale of struggles in relationships. While potential is limited, it stands firm for a romantic dramedy, done justice partly by Edward Zwick, whose debut directorial performance shows some areas that need work, and other areas - say, melodramatic ones - that would go on to never be mended in Zwick's storytelling style, but also has a style to such aspects as Harry Keramidas' snappy editing to sustain pretty thorough entertainment value and a sense of wit through all of the moments of overt thoughtfulness. Of course, when all of that snap settles and leaves substance to go unfiltered by fluff, where the drama could have easily blanded up, it finds material to draw upon and resonate with, resulting in highlights that, to be honest, are a little more visible in the storytelling efforts outside of those of Zwick. Stronger than Zwick's direction is a script by Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue that is itself flawed, but defines the wit of this film as much as anything, having an extreme cleverness to its dialogue that, while a little unlikely and annoying at times, bites on the whole, while thoroughly amusing at times, until all of the clever, perhaps even gutsy fluff goes punctuated by a defiance of melodrama through an audaciously realistic approach to very real conflicts. There are truly powerful moments in this film, and although the path to those moments are lacking in weight, they're rich with wit, and even well-rounded characterization that paints generally believable and charming, if somewhat obnoxious leads, brought to life by the most consistently strong aspect. The performances never fail, with Jim Belushi, as the typical charmingly loud buddy, and Elizabeth Perkins, as the typical flawed, yet still know-it-all gal pal, impressing in their sheer charm, while leads Rob Lowe and Demi Moore drive the show, with dynamite chemistry, and engaging individual charm, punctuated by dramatic beats that are truly powerful. Up until those dramatic highlights, Lowe and Moore capture a sense of evolution in lover who grow as individuals and with each other, sometimes to dark areas, and such effortlessly effectiveness from the leads reflects a competence that I wish was more prevalent in this minimalist and sometimes misguided film, but nevertheless joins many an attribute in establishing a sense of inspiration that drives the final product as charming and often moving, if generally improvable. When the night draws to a close, some annoyingly overt cleverness, histrionics, clichés, dragging and tonal unevenness reflect a certain laziness which betrays potential that is thin enough to begin with in a minimalist story concept that is still worthy enough, and done enough justice by snappy, when not thoughtful direction, clever, if not audacious writing, and strong performances - especially by charming and often moving leads Rob Lowe and Demi Moore - to make Edward Zwick's "About Last Night..." a thoroughly flawed, but also often effectively inspired romantic comedy-drama. 2.75/5 - Decent
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Oct 13, 2011
    A very honest and accurate portrayal of a young couple's first attempt at a serious, commited adult relationship. Rob Lowe and Demi Moore play lovers in their early 20's, each with their own ideas of what love means. Some good moments which ring true when the main characters realize that living together is much more complicated than dating. Ultimately, they both own up to their mistakes and realize how naive they were. Not a great film by any means, but captures the feeling of learing about commitment very well. Jim Belushi is fun as Rob Lowe's best friend.
    Mark H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2011
    While considered must see in its time its basic consideration (why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?") has lost its impact. What's left are naked, anguished leads considering marriage while their buds vote "no" on the sidelines. I sadly kept waiting for the buds to hook up unfortunately.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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