About Last Night… (1986) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

About Last Night is a comical and sometimes touching story about a young couple trying to make a relationship work in the 1980s. It deals with the fear of commitment, which this film treats like a social epidemic. The story revolves around a one-night stand between Danny and Debbie, which turns into a full-blown love affair. This is an equal offender love story that should find relevance with most adult audiences, who will be quick to recognize real-life truths within this exquisitely written romantic comedy.

Danny (Rob Lowe) and Debbie (Demi Moore) met at the local pub, both are involved with other people but find an attraction brewing. This leads to a quick sexual rendezvous that results in the awareness of a strong chemistry between the two. Daily meets and overnight stays quickly become the norm, much to the chagrin of Danny’s best friend, the macho womanizing slob Bernie (Jim Belushi) and Debbie’s roommate the uptight intellectually superior Joan (Elizabeth Perkins). These negative outside influences are constant strains on the fragile relationship between Danny and Debbie.

Before long the couple are living together and adjusting to the presence of someone else in their space. Their mutual immaturity and constant arguments force the couple to examine their romance, as they fail to connect as friends or lovers. One evening during a fight, he asks her to leave and she obliges. Realizing the bad decision he made, Danny spends the rest of the movie attempting to woo Debbie back.

The outstanding screenplay is credited to Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue adapted from David Mamet’s stage play Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Edward Zwick brings a soft touch to the material which plays a little flat in spots with an abundance of montage sequences. However the chemistry between Lowe and Moore is enough to make you care for this couple. Costars Belushi and Perkins are memorable as the respective friends. About Last Night is a glowing romantic comedy and a masterpiece of keen insight and clear observation. This honest and entertaining film sits alongside Risky Business as examples of genre-defying classics during a decade dependent on formula.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Jim Belushi

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