ABOUT LAST NIGHT
About The Film
Released in 1986, the acclaimed romantic comedy About Last Night resonated
with audiences over its unflinching look at the ins and outs of dating, from the
hot meet to the day after to the ever after. Based on the David Mamet play
"Sexual Perversity in Chicago," the film followed the lives of four singles,
originally played by Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, James Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins.
The film was a playful illustration of how easily true love can get sidelined by
misguided ideas, bad advice and social pressures.
Interested in updating the original movie's timeless themes for a modern
audience hungry for a fun, relatable romantic comedy that reflects their own
experiences, Screen Gems approached producer Will Packer about shepherding the
project. Coming off of the huge success of the comedy Think Like A Man, where
similar themes regarding sexual roles and gender politics were explored, Packer
appreciated the new About Last Night's date night appeal, big laughs, and
nuanced look into the dynamics of relationships and the gradual (or quick)
transition from fireworks to flat-lines.
"My first impression was wow, we are going to have some fun with this,"
recalls Packer. "There were a lot of places to go because this is a film with a
lot of different levels and depth. Beginning with the initial courtship and
feeling each other out, the story delves into what are the preconceived notions,
the misperceptions, the flaws in communication styles, which all explore well
beyond the surface."
Taking many cues from the original, the new film takes an unflinching look
into how the technology of today can influence relationships. "We take a look at
dating in the contemporary modern society with all the trappings of technology,
economic climate and social mores that exist today," explains Packer. "It's
really interesting to experience the world of dating through the prism of these
four singles who are living, loving, laughing and playing in today's downtown
What also appealed to Packer was the script's balance between hot romance,
meaningful drama, and full-on comedy. Each of the four singles was written as a
fully fleshed-out character, and together they're a group who live out loud and
don't shy from their vulnerabilities or mistakes. Life can be exciting, awkward,
and downright hilarious at times -- what appealed to Packer was the perfect mix
represented in the story.
"There are some surprises in the character portrayals in this version that
veer differently from the original and I loved the fact that there are sequences
that feel like an out and out comedy," says Packer. "We have moments that feel
like these actors are on the loose with finding the comedy of the ridiculous
moments, but in addition, there is true heart. There are a lot of touching
moments that really allow it to ebb and flow at just the right pace to find a
healthy balance between the two."
To achieve the appropriate balance, tone and rhythm, the right director was
essential. Director Steve Pink, whose credits include the cult-classic Hot Tub
Time Machine, was a huge fan of the original film and signed on.
"Steve is someone who comes from a comedy background and gets the rhythm and
timing," says Packer. "He's a smart director who gives the actors enough freedom
to bring out their best while still making sure that his vision is achieved."
Central to the relationships in About Last Night is the sense that they
happen against a backdrop of a thriving city, teeming with busy, purposeful
lives. That's why the filmmakers chose the newly revitalized downtown Los
Angeles - a nexus of business, modern living, entertainment, sports, and food --
as the movie's setting. From the neighborhood vibe of Casey's Irish Pub to the
classy nightclub feel of Broadway Bar, and iconic locations such as Dodger
Stadium, Disney Hall and the Orpheum Theater, Los Angeles is for once allowed to
be itself on screen instead of pretending to be another city.
"One of the really, really cool things about this film is the fact that
downtown LA is a character," says Packer. "We wanted to show Los Angeles with
its own energy, its own vibe. We wanted people to see what the revitalization of
downtown looks like, and show these single thirtysomethings living and working
and playing in a downtown metropolitan urban area where they walk to bars, live
in lofts, and go to nice restaurants."
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