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About Last Night… (1986)

Sexual Perversity in Chicago

It’s about men, women, choices, friendship, love, last night…

Directed by:

Edward Zwick

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 113 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United States

‘About Last Night…’ is one of those rare Hollywood movies which is completely without any form of gimmick. At no point in the film is Rob Lowe’s character killed-off, only to return as a ghost to pick up a previous romance where he left off. James Belushi doesn’t play a bloke who’s secretly a 12-year-old boy, having been involved in a mishap with a wish-dispensing machine at a fairground (although given the obnoxious immaturity of his character, such a scenario wouldn’t be all that difficult to believe). And, perhaps most disappointingly of all, nobody in the film is either a) a time traveller b) an alien or c) slowly turning into a giant fly.

Nope, this is quite simply a true-to-life, modern love story (well, about as “modern” as any movie featuring Demi Moore in an array of unnecessarily-large woollen sweaters and repeated references to “replicants” can conceivably be). Lowe stars as the devilishly-handsome and frequently semi-starkers Danny, a man who looks as if he could safely guide an aeroplane in to land using nothing more than his teeth. One night, while out at the local boozer with best pal Bernie (Belushi), he pulls Debbie (Moore), gigantic knitwear and all.

The pair enjoy a one-night-stand, which turns into a several-night-stand, which turns into Danny giving Debbie a drawer to keep her frighteningly over-sized clothes in, which turns into Debbie moving in (to Danny’s apartment, not the drawer). What follows is all pretty uneventful and certainly tame by today’s standards, with this disgustingly photogenic pair fighting off opposition from first their chums and then their own fickle instincts in an attempt to stay together. Can they manage it? Personally, I couldn’t give two hoots. That may seem harsh, but I just didn’t care about either of them. It’s not that I disliked them. It’s just that I didn’t care.

Screenwriters Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue – basing their work on David Mamet’s saucily-titled play ‘Sexual Perversity in Chicago’ – come up with a script which manages to avoid being either cheesy or over-the-top, choosing instead to keep both the serious and humorous sides of the dialogue realistic. Such undeniable realism is the film’s main strength, and probably the reason why there are some who adore it to this day. Me? I prefer the stuff with the ghosts and the time-travellers. Real life is for suckers.

It's Got: Some dull, normal people who – barring their suspiciously good looks – you’ll see hundreds of just walking down your local High Street on any given Saturday afternoon.

It Needs: A mad scientist with a talking dog, or a central character who wakes up every morning to discover it’s the same day, or a swarm of killer bees.

DVD Extras Talent profiles and a couple of trailers (one for this, and one for the long-forgotten ‘Mortal Thoughts’). Version reviewed: About Last Night [1986] from Amazon UK also from Amazon.com DVD Extras Rating: 2/10

Alternatives:

St Elmo's Fire

Summary

It’s real, but it’s not real good.

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